Dr Mark HassedIn dentistry one of our biggest time wasters can be getting haemostasis for impression taking for crowns.

In a blog post a while ago I mentioned ferric sulphate based agents such as astringident.

Well, for those who are interested and more adventurous, there is an even more effective agent and it is called trichloracetic acid or TCA for short.

TCA is sort of like astingident on steroids. It works amazingly well.

But, there are a couple of caveats.

TCA is highly corrosive and so must never, ever be spilt on skin or clothing. Protective eyewear is absolutely mandatory. TCA will etch tooth surface in a similar fashion to phosphoric acid so applying it to large areas of root surface is inadvisable.

However, this etching can be an advantage with class 5 cavities where the TCA can both etch and provide haemostats in one step.

TCA is best applied with a small disposable brush and only put out a drop or two at a time to minimise the chance of spillage.

Used with proper care TCA is a wonderful material.

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