Restoring a Class V lesion and protecting thin friable gingiva from damage

Posted on August 13 2019


Traditional method of placing retraction cord damages thin friable gingiva. Not good.


#22 Prepped

Class V prep tooth #22. Very little attached gingiva.

Greater Curve U-Band

The U-Band has a very large flare. When the band is set up from the lingual or palatal the contra angle retainer works better since the screw end of the retainer naturally lifts up above the occlusal plane of the teeth.

U-Band in place

U-Band is slipped past the prep margin. Protects the gingiva, isolates the prep and provides visibility.

Ready for shaping

Band has been removed.  Appearance of the Activa Restorative (Pulpdent) before any shaping has begun.

Burr selection

I shape with a 7901 finishing flamed shaped carbide. When I get close to the gingival margin I cut dry with a very light touch.

My goal: Do not let the bur tip  touch the margin. Just get very close.


Class V tooth #22. I was able to minimize damage to the thin attachment. 


Additional tip

The U-Band works well for isolating lingual Class V lesions on molars. If you choose amalgam, the matrix provides a solid surface so the amalgam can be condensed vertically into the prep.


  • Bill Starner: July 26, 2020

    What bur do you use to do prep? What is the depth of the prep at the gingival portion? Christensen recommends 1/2 or 1/4 round bur holes in corners of these smile-shaped preps with starburst bevel along enamel portion of prep. Do you use any of these techniques?

  • Camille Pellegrino: August 15, 2019

    I like using U-bands to close diastimas/embrasures in anterior teeth: Cut a window for visibility and burning the cervical portion of the band where you want anatomy!

  • Vance Wascom: August 15, 2019

    I have done many of these, I will try with the u band, thanks for sharing. Vance Wascom

Leave a comment