Sof-Lex – finishing and polishing systems

The Sof-Lex Disc System has been shown to impart an excellent polish to composites, microfilled materials, amalgams, and semiprecious and precious metals.

The Sof-Lex Strip system, because of the thin, flexible backing and center gapped abrasive can be successfully and safely used near the gingival, and in interproximal areas having tight contacts.

By incorporating two abrasive grits per Sof-Lex strip, the finishing and polishing of a restoration requires fewer steps.

Use of this total Sof-Lex system will assure a final polish equal to or better than natural dentition.

Indications for Use

Sof-Lex Discs

Contouring and Polishing System
The Sof-Lex Disc System, because of the low profile mandrel and larger functional disc area has extended the routine usage of finishing and polishing discs to include the gingival third of anterior and posterior teeth and select occlusal surfaces of posterior teeth.

Extra-Thin Contouring and Polishing System
Sof-Lex Extra Thin (XT) Disc System, because of its low profile mandrel, and extra-thin disc construction has extended the routine usage of abrasive discs to restricted access intraoral locations. It has proved to be especially useful for finishing and polishing restorative embrasures.

Finishing and Polishing Disc System (Square Mandrel)
The square eyelet Sof-Lex Disc System can be used to finish and polish anterior and posterior restorations. This system is especially useful to smooth the facial and lingual margins, substituting for or used in conjunction with rubber points. The inherent disc flexibility allows the disc to bend, mimicking the curvature of the tooth. These larger discs are useful when finishing and polishing indirect restorations in the dental laboratory.


Sof-Lex Finishing and Polishing Strip System
The Sof-Lex Strip System because of the center gap abrasive can be used to finish and polish all interproximal restorative surfaces.

Precautions for Dental Personnel & Patients

  1. Do not use any of the 3M ESPE Discs on dental handpieces capable of speeds greater than 35,000 rpms, or any high speed handpiece.
  2. Use of a disc and mandrel at speeds greater than 35,000 rpms could cause the disc or mandrel to shatter which may result in injury.
  3. Do not operate mandrel without disc attached.
  4. Use of protective eyewear is recommended when operating handpieces.
  5. As with any handpiece, to protect patients from injury, do not make contact with soft tissues.


Instructions for use Sof-Lex

Before using the Sof-Lex system remove excess restorative material and contour the restoration to the desired shape using fine diamonds, or fluted carbide burs. The following procedure will produce a quality polish regardless of the Sof-Lex System used.

Sof-Lex Disc Instructions


  • Skipping a grit size in the polishing sequence may reduce the quality of the restoration’s polish.
  • Sof-Lex products are color coded, from dark shades (coarser grits) to light shades (finer grits).
  • Avoid touching composite with the mandrel or disc eyelet because a discoloration mark may occur. This mark can be removed by repetition of the polishing steps. The smaller, low profile, mandrel head and unique eyelet design reduces this risk of composite eyelet contact.
  • Between the usage of each grit, rinsing the restorative surface is recommended.
  • On average, time spent using each disc is approximately 15-20 seconds.
  1. Place disc on mandrel by gently pushing the eyelet portion onto the mandrel until the disc is secure (it doesn’t wobble). Abrasive side of disc can be facing up or down depending on need.
  2. The polishing motion should be constant and one directional. A back and forth movement over the restorative -enamel margin is not recommended
  3. Use light pressure when polishing, let the discs do the work.
  4. A Sof-Lex coarse grit disc can be used at about 10,000 rpm for gross reduction. Rinse and dry.
  5. For final contouring and finishing utilize the Sof-Lex medium grit disc at about 10,000 rpms.
  6. Next, change to Sof-Lex fine grit disc. The handpiece speed can be increased to about 30,000 rpms.
  7. Finally, bring the restoration to a lustrous polish using superfine grit disc at about 30,000 rpms for 15-20 seconds.
  8. Wash away powder or debris from restorative surface.

Sof-Lex Strip Instructions

  1. Insert gapped abrasive center of Sof-Lex finishing strip (beige/white) between interproximal contact points.
  2. Position the beige portion of the strip over the composite surface to be finished.
  3. Firmly grasp both ends of the strip and draw the abrasive over the composite in a vigorous, seesaw motion.
  4. Repeat procedure using the white portion of the strip.
  5. Discard used strip.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 with polishing strips (gray/blue) using the gray side first.

Sof-Lex System Summary Chart


Storage and Use
Discs and strips are single use items. Properly dispose of used discs and strips in accordance with your healthcare facility’s policy.

Mandrel sterilization

  1. Sterilization Packaging:
    Mandrels may be loaded into dedicated bur trays and packaged. Standard dental sterilization packaging materials may be used such as cassettes, or pouches.
  2. Autoclave:
    Listed below are four different steam sterilization cycle types that will effectively sterilize Sof-Lex disc mandrels:
    15 minutes at 121°C/250°F wrapped
    10 minutes at 121°C/250°F unwrapped
    10 minutes at 132°C/270°F wrapped
    3 minutes at 132°C/ 270°F unwrapped

The sterilization instructions above have been validated by 3M ESPE as being capable of preparing these devices for multiple uses. It is the responsibility of the dental professional to ensure that desired results are achieved and the process is conducted using proper equipment, materials, and trained personnel. This requires validation and routine monitoring of the process. Any deviation by the processor from the instructions provided should be properly evaluated for effectiveness and potential adverse consequences.






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