Acetone to the Rescue!

August 9, 2023 Lee Ann Brady DMD

Seating dental restorations with resin-based cement can be daunting. The process is extremely technique sensitive and requires multiple steps. One of the things I learned years ago is to keep a small cup of acetone or ethanol on the tray table when I am seating restorations using resin-based cement.

All our resin materials have a solvent in them. That solvent is often ethanol or acetone. The solvent disrupts the chemistry, spreads out particles, and stops the resin from polymerizing. So, we can use a solvent to prevent the resin from setting and turn it completely into a liquid then wipe it away. Now we can go back to our steps to clean the ceramic, selenate the ceramic, etch the tooth, apply the dental adhesive, and freshly seat the restoration in the same appointment.

Recently, I was in the process of seating veneers. I prepped #6 and loaded the resin. As I raised the veneer, I realized it was for #11 instead of #6. So, I dropped the veneer in the little cup of acetone on my tray. I soaked a 2×2 in the solvent and completely wiped the resin off tooth #6 and completely wiped the resin off the back of veneer #11. Then, I took a deep breath and was ready for a do-over.

This was the first time I had to use that little cup of solvent in over 15 years, but I was delighted it was on my tray table. Time and again we have thrown that little cup away—for years and years, and now I have experienced firsthand why that cup of solvent is always “at the ready” when I seat restorations using resin-based cement.


Here at Pankey, we are committed to helping you through any of the questions you might have while practicing dentistry. I recommend starting your advanced dental education journey with our Essentials 1 course. You will gain essential knowledge and skills, enabling you to build a solid understanding of fundamental concepts in dentistry. From fundamental principles to essential clinical techniques, The Essentials Series will lay down the groundwork for a successful dental practice and further specialization. 

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About Author

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Lee Ann Brady DMD

Dr. Lee Ann Brady is passionate about dentistry, her family and making a difference. She is a general dentist and owns a practice in Glendale, AZ limited to restorative dentistry. Lee’s passion for dental education began as a CE junkie herself, pursuing lots of advanced continuing education focused on Restorative and Occlusion. In 2005, she became a full time resident faculty member for The Pankey Institute, and was promoted to Clinical Director in 2006. Lee joined Spear Education as Executive VP of Education in the fall of 2008 to teach and coordinate the educational curriculum. In June of 2011, she left Spear Education, founded leeannbrady.com and joined the dental practice she now owns as an associate. Today, she teaches at dental meetings and study clubs both nationally and internationally, continues to write for dental journals and her website, sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry, Inside Dentistry and DentalTown Magazines and is the Director of Education for The Pankey Institute.

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