I have spent the last two days at the ADA Annual Session teaching on topics from occlusion to provisionals. One conversation kept coming up over and over, so I thought it is a perfect topic for a post. I was amazed at how many times I found myself discussing using a brownie, silicone polishing point, in a high-speed handpiece in my office. So first, as a caveat, you can not run a brownie point at full speed in a high-speed handpiece, it will turn into a silicone grenade. I work with electric handpieces, so I dial them down to half speed. If you are using air driven, simply press lightly on the rheostat so you do not get full power.
The magic of a brownie, is that it will very effectively cut resin and is very ineffective at cutting the tooth structure. In a previous post I discussed that a brownie is one of the most important burs I use when placing a direct composite. I try not to leave a large amount of excess composite beyond the margins, but the brownie allows me to feather the composite right to the margin without damaging the enamel at all. This creates an invisible interface between the two, that is hard to detect even with an explorer. A brownie is also a great bur to have out when fabricating provisional restorations from bisacryl. The shape and efficiency with which it cuts resin, make it perfect for occlusal adjustments prior to the final polish. Lastly, when seating inlays and onlays, and even veneers I use a brownie to remove excess resin cement as it will not damage the porcelain. Do make sure to be careful near the tissue, as a brownie can damage gingival tissues. If you are worried about the challenges of a high-speed, they do make brownie points with a latch for a slow speed handpiece as well.