The newest dental assistant is a wedge-shaped mouth prop made from Advanced Elastomer Systems' Santoprene thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV) material. The OpenWide Wraparound Mouth Prop from Specialized Care Co. comes in handy for dentists working with children and patients who have difficulty keeping their mouths open wide and steady during a procedure. The part of the prop that goes between the teeth is made with FDA-approved, 80 Shore A Santoprene TPV. The soft, rubberlike material is claimed to be more comfortable than rigid mouth props. Further, the component is molded with ridges that provide a stable resting area for the teeth. The prop also features a built-in saliva ejector holder to keep the instrument in place.
The TPV is injection molded over a tough, rigid polypropylene core that withstands teeth clenching. The mouth prop also has a patented PP handle that curves away from the mouth. This way, the clinician can securely place the prop and still have unobstructed access to the mouth. The handle also provides stability and is more patient-friendly than a ratchet-type mouth prop.