Technique Video

Achieving Great Contours and Contacts Using the Mylar Strips Pull Technique

In this Tip of the Month video, Dr. Corky Willhite demonstrates how to use the Mylar Strip as an instrument rather than as a matrix. Dr. Willhite developed what he calls the Mylar Pull technique.

First, he places the Mylar Strip in the interproximal. With the composite on the facial, which is uncured, and the lingual already cured to support it, he pulls the Mylar Strip straight to the lingual. As you see in the video, he uses an instrument to hold lightly hold the Mylar Strip slightly over onto the facial. Pulling the Mylar Strip straight to the lingual, the instrument helps to contour that proximal in a convex form.

To avoid binding the composite to the adjacent tooth, it is important to be sure that the adjacent tooth surface is either unprepped, unetched enamel, or polished composite. The Mylar Pull is a technique that can help you make beautiful composites but takes practice to master. The learning curve is worth the time to help make sure your composites are the best they can possibly be.

Three Benefits of Using the Mylar Strips Pull Technique

  1. Convex Contour from Gingival to Insisal
    With this technique, you create a convex contour from gingival to incisal. As you see in the video, there is definite convexity. If you use the Mylar Strip the way you were taught in dental school, the result is a flat contour. No natural teeth have a flat proximal surface.
  2. Reduces the Chance of Voids or Gaps Between Layers
    The second benefit of this technique is that as the material is drawn from the facial to the lingual, it adapts very well to the previously cured layer that supports it. There is less chance of gaps or voids between those layers.
  3. Improves Sculpting Ability
    Once complete, you can fine-tune the contours by sculpting without the Mylar Strip in the way.  There is clear access to manipulate and sculpt the surface to get rid of any little imperfections and blend the margin before curing.


Corky Willhite, DDS, FAACD
About the AuthorDr. Corky Willhite

Dr. Corky Willhite has achieved Fellowship from the Academy of General Dentistry, the American College of Dentists, and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is one of less than 100 Accredited Fellows in the AACD worldwide. He has served on their Board of Governors (currently the American Board of Cosmetic Dentistry) and spent years as an Examiner for Accreditation. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at L.S.U. School of Dentistry. He is on the faculty of the Center for Esthetic Excellence in Chicago. He has been published and feels honored to have so many opportunities to lecture nationally and internationally. Over the years, his private practice in suburban New Orleans—The Smile Design Center—has become limited to Cosmetic Dentistry. His experience is based on a dedication to the belief that “excellence” and “esthetics” are not only compatible but can take dentistry to a new level of satisfaction and success