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Airblock

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Airblock is the name of a dental product, but in expert jargon, it is also used as an expression for a step during the process of gluing a ceramic inlay. The following film will explain the importance of airblock. You can see two teeth that have been prepared for ceramic inlays.The ceramic inlays are ready to be fitted in the patient’s mouth.

The working area has therefore been dried and isolated using a rubber dam (the violet membrane). The tooth has been cleaned and conditioned with various substances. Now, the glue is applied and the ceramic inlays are positioned. After hardening the glue quickly with a heat lamp, the surplus glue is removed.

This is easily done because the interior of the glue is still soft. Now, airblock is applied before final hardening (the transparent gel). This step enables the glue to completely harden. An explanation for this is provided in the animation. You can see two ceramic gluing procedures being compared; the teeth have been ground and the glue (in this case green) has been introduced into both cavities.

The inlay is now placed (here shown in blue), and the surplus glue is pressed out of the cavity. A lamp is then used to slightly harden the glue. You can see tiny bubbles being formed in the areas where the glue comes in contact with oxygen. This is not of great concern because the surplus will be removed.

Airblock is now applied on the left but not on the right. This isolates the glue gap on the left but not on the right.
On the right, there is renewed bubble formation on air exposure because the glue has not hardened sufficiently.

Through the use of airblock, the left side hardens much better, creating a smooth glue gap. This also decreases the risk of caries because adherence between the tooth and the inlay is optimal with airblock.

Airblock