Removing ticks from inside a dogs ears is not a easy task, and in fact we generally recommend that these be removed by your vet. Otherwise you can have someone wrap the dog up in a blanket to help keep him immobilized then hold him down while using tweezers to gently remove them. The biggest problem with this is if the dog jerks you can puncture the ear drum so please ensure he is kept perfectly still or have your vet remove them.
I prefer K9 Advantix over front line 10 to 1. It is less toxic for you and the dog and works better. Though in all fairness Revolution works far better then either of these brands and works not only for ticks but also fleas, biting flies, parasites and even heart worms. The downside is you need a vets prescription but its well worth it in the end as it treats everything instead of just one.
Different people have different preferences, I personally prefer Advantix to frontline simply because it is more effective and I have had less problems with it. As for my evidence, its more a experience issue. I worked over 10 years in a emergency clinic and over the years have found more toxic reactions from pets using Front line then Advantix. In some cases dogs do have a reaction to any flea medication.....but from experience I have found that Frontline has these reactions far more then Advantix. Now of course there are other brands that are far worse such as Herts etc, but out of the two I base my answer on experience.
You can use Mineral oil to help them release, but you still often have to use tweezers or your fingers to remove them. In all honesty your vet is far more qualified to remove these and is my recommendation. Since you are a Biochemist I am sure you appreciate using the right person for the right job and when it comes to removing ticks from a dogs very sensitive ears its better to go with a professional who can sedate him if need be.
As for the mineral oil