Choosing Cotton Rolls

Cotton rolls are used to aid in absorbing saliva or other fluids during dental procedures. There are typically three types of cotton rolls. Standard, Wrapped, and Braided. See image below

Braided vs. Standard vs. Wrapped

Braided cotton rolls are typically tied together with yarn instead of other compositions. This allows for comfort, but more importantly, it allows an increased absorbability feature.

Standard cotton rolls are made of cotton along with the starch coating. This can sometimes lead to sticking to the mucosa, which is not ideal for patient comfort.

Wrapped cotton rolls are similar to standard, however, they are wrapped with a non-woven layer using an adhesive product. The lack of starch prevents the stickiness giving patients a better experience.

What Makes a Good Cotton Roll?

Ultimately it’s about the safety of your patient and your practice. Here are the guidelines for deciding.

Is the cotton roll made from medical grade products? This is a no brainer. Just ensure your products are safe for your patients.

How absorbent is the cotton roll? Test how much volume the cotton roll can soak up, along with the speed of absorbency. The last thing you want is having to change the cotton roll every few minutes.

How soft are the cotton rolls? Good products are built with patients in mind. The softer and smoother the cotton roll, the more comfortable the patient will be.

Are the cotton rolls stiff or can they be flexible? Having the ability to shape the cotton roll how you’d like will provide comfort for your patient as well as better visibility into the spaces that you need access to.

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