December 9, 2014


Dr. John Garrison Explains: How to Remove a Band with a Tight Contact

How do I remove a matrix band with a very tight contact?


Cotton forceps or other weak forceps simply cannot grasp the band firmly enough to allow removal. The Matrix forceps, with their carbide teeth, provide excellent grip on ultra-thin matrices for easier removal and work very well for removing the band when a contact is overly tight.

Garrison matrix forceps BFA-1

Some bonding agents adhere quite firmly to the band, especially if the band does not have non-stick coating. This further creates resistance to band removal. The band should be teased away from the restoration to break the bond. Then the Matrix forceps should be able to do their job.

Occasionally even this does not overcome the contact strength. At this point, it is recommended that a wedge be placed between the teeth with a strong wedging force. This should remain in place for a minute and then the band forceps should be tried again.

Further separation can be gained by placing one of the Garrison rings back in place. Remember to use the forceps as a fulcrum grasping the band and rotating the forceps while its tips rest on the tooth. This will provide much greater force while preventing any accidental laceration should the band suddenly slip from between the teeth.

Remember, the use of SlickBands with their non-stick coating will great simplify matrix band removal.

John Garrison DDS went to the University of Michigan Dental School and has practiced dentisty for over 25 years.


Have a clinical question?

Submit your question to Dr. John Garrison and it might be published in the next newsletter!

Email your questions to: gds@garrisondental.com

John Garrison, DDS