How big is a micron?

04/02/2009

With so many of today's CAD/CAM systems measuring their marginal fit it the sub 20 micron range, it only reinforces the fact that accuracy is at the top of everyone's list, but how "big" is a micron.

The definition is "a metric unit of length equal to one millionth of a meter". That is small, real small. It is .00001 m, or .001 mm or 1µm. You want it in inches, well how about .000039 inches, or about 39/1,000,000 of an inch.

This dot "." is about 615 microns - give or take depending on your resolution. Your 17" monitor equates to about a 431,800 micron size monitor. A human hair is about 100 microns wide, red blood cells are 7 microns in diameter, flour runs 50 - 100 microns in diameter and tobacco smoke is 0.1 to 1 micron. Not sure that really puts things in perspective, but the fact remains that a micron is pretty darn small.

So when we started formulating our ProLine Die Spacers we realized we were not only going to have to make them as precise as possible, but consistent. The biggest problem with die spacers is that the solvents used to produce them evaporate quickly, and when they evaporate they make the liquid thicker. Thicker liquid equal a thicker layer, and that equals a crown that does not fit correctly. So one way we fought back against this was to use some newer polymers that do not evaporate as quickly and have a better shelf life. Another way we tried to combat inconsistencies was by only using 1/2 ounce bottles. We don't offer refills, and we don't recommend them. By the time a 4 oz refill is completely used up it is probably twice as thick as when it was opened.

Most people will say "well, I use a thinner when my spacer gets thick". Ok, but how much thinner do you use to get your die spacer back to the thickness it was at when you opened the bottle? So by using a smaller bottle, advanced polymers and high quality materials we help you avoid the necessity of having to use a thinner. Less use of thinner equals higher levels of consistency, and better fitting restorations.

Our next step was offering a selection of colors, and a selection of different thicknesses. Our Gold and Silver spacers result in a 6 micron coat, while the Blue, Red, Yellow and Clear spacers offer a 12 micron coat. This gives technicians the ability to vary the spacing by applying one, two, four or even more coats depending upon the cases they are working on. You are able to customize the spacing depending on the client, type of case, type of material being used or any other factor that might be important.

Last, we wanted to offer our spacers at a competitive price. Since we do not offer giant refills we package our spacers with two of the 1/2 ounce bottles per package. Our current price is $17.50, which is very competitive when you see other spacers selling for that much for one of the 1/2 ounce bottles. We wanted to make sure that people were not afraid to move to a new bottle if the last little bit of their current bottle was getting thick. It should not be an expensive item, and trying to get every last drop out of the bottle ends up causing more problems then it is worth.

Be sure to check out our selection of ProLine Die Spacers and also our other new items. As always feel free to contact us with any questions as we are here to assist you in any way we can.