Over the years I have had a love hate relationship with composite instruments. In the search for something that the composite did not stick to I have tried the gold tipped variety, the anodized version and even plastic versions. They all work great when they are brand new out of the package. The challenge is that they are highly susceptible to wear and tear. If any composite gets left on the ends and baked on during sterilization let the stickiness begin. If you try and remove this baked on resin you scratch the instrument which is just as bad. So we instituted a meticulous procedure of wiping the ends with a 2 x 2 soaked in alcohol while we worked. You can imagine how often this has gotten overlooked. Then we even bought special cassettes for our composite instruments to prevent them from touching other instruments and getting scratched that way.
Recently I have been trying several varieties of composite instrument handles that come with disposable ends. The idea is that the handle gets sterilized, and each procedure you put a new end on so it can’t be damaged. Since you will be throwing it away at the end of the procedure you don’t have to be careful with it while you work.
The first one I tried is the OptraSculpt Pad from Ivoclar Vivadent. I figured it must be great as they are sometimes out of stock. Designed to replace a plastic instrument or bladed instrument for sculpting composite on the labial or lingual of a tooth. Suffice it to say I love them! The replaceable foam pads aren’t sticky, do stay in the handle and they actually have replaced both my gold tipped plastic instruments and my sable brush. The OptraSculpt Pad allow me to create a very smooth labial surface and easily blend my layers when using multiple colors of composite.