I use several different types of articulating paper in my office, including Accufilm. It’s 24 micron thickness and resilience in the mouth make it preferable when finalizing the occlusion on upper anterior teeth, doing the last touches on an equilibration or seating restorations. One of the challenges with it though is sometimes it can be hard to get marks, or see them. A simple little trick I learned several years ago, has made all the difference. The ink in Accufilm is dissolved by petroleum jelly. So swipe both sides of the film with a bit of Vaseline and wait a few seconds. The ink will begin to dissolve, and the marks will become more vivid and easier to read. You want to use just a small amount of the petroleum jelly, and then wipe the film gently with a 2 x 2 to remove the excess before using in the patient’s mouth. There are a few more things to know when using Accufilm to avoid being frustrated.
The recommendation is to only use the film to mark five times, and then replace with a new piece. I’ve not personally counted how many times we can use it before it’s time to change. However, with that said, my assistant has been asked to change the ribbon and reapply the petroleum jelly when it visibly seems appropriate. Usually when I can easily see clear areas on the film it is time to change it out. Lastly, I always use a miller forcep with articulating film. For the moment it takes to set it up, the procedure goes smoothly and there is less frustration holding it in place. I like to have the film cut the same length as the arm of the miller forcep, allowing me to easily mark from the second molar to the canine with a single placement of the film.