Dental Matrix Bands for Modeling

A lot of times I hear, “Oh you’re a dentist, you probably have a lot of cool tools that you can use for modeling.”  Actually, that is not the case.  However, on this occasion, I have found a way to use a dental tool for modeling.

I wanted a good way to align the two halves of the plastic kit-supplied barrels.  On many occasions, these barrels are quite accurate but you have to deal with an annoying seam and any additional problems that result from not getting the halves aligned properly.  My solution is to use dental matrix bands.  In dentistry, these bands are placed around a tooth when a tooth is being filled with silver amalgam.  It provides a temporary wall around the cavity preparation to allow the amalgam to be condensed into the preparation.  After the amalgam has been compressed into the preparation, the band is removed.

The device is actually made up of two parts, the matrix band material and the holder, Fig. 1.  The band material is inserted into the holder, Fig. 2, and the small knurled knob on the end is tightened to secure the band.

Dental Matrix Bands for Modeling
Dental Matrix Bands for Modeling

The band is then slipped over the barrel and the larger knurled knob in the center is tightened, Fig. 3.  This draws the band securely around the barrel aligning both halves perfectly.

Dental Matrix Bands for Modeling

Obviously, this device cannot be purchased at your hobby store; however, you might be able to bribe your friendly dentist into ordering you a few matrix band holders and a roll of the matrix band material.  At the very least, it will give you a reason to visit the dentist.