Liquids

These are products that are mainly designed to stop bleeding as you prepare to take an impression for a precision restoration. They are usually one part of the approach, which also includes tissue retraction, typically with retraction cord. While the use of soft tissue lasers is garnering much attention as a method to achieve both hemostasis and retraction at the same time and very quickly, the fact remains that most clinicians are still relying on chemical agents and cord for these tasks.

The agents in this section generally fall into two general chemical categories. The most effective agents contain ferric salts such as ferric sulfate and ferric chloride. They evidently work by producing a coagulum at the bleeding site, thus shutting off any hemorrhaging. But this coagulum can interfere with the impression unless it is rinsed away before the impression is taken.

On the other hand, the aluminum salts such as aluminum sulfate and aluminum chloride are actually astringents that work by causing a transient ischemia, which in effect reduces the blood flow to the area and, as an added bonus, shrinks the gingival tissues making space for the impression material.

This is why OTC products such as Visine have been suggested as a low cost substitute for the dental astringents covered in the section. Visine contains 0.05% tetrahydrozoline hydrochloride, which is used in numerous medications as nasal decongestants and ophthalmic vasoconstrictors. While at least one dental study found Visine to be as effective as an aluminum-containing dental hemostatic, we have not done any direct comparisons, although anecdotally, at least one evaluator advocates its use.

In any event, astringents as a group are not as effective as the ferric products in hemostatic efforts. Please keep this in mind when you select the best product for your needs.

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