July/August 2010, Volume 31, Issue 6
Published by AEGIS Communications
Unique Technologies from Ultradent Support Quality Restorative Dentistry
“We’re a firm believer in research and development, despite this downturned economy,” says Dan E. Fischer, DDS. “While other companies are trimming back their R&D departments, as a private company, we believe it’s vital to prepare for the future and continue to innovate. In fact, that’s one of our company’s core values: integrity, care, quality, innovate, and hard work.”
Fischer is founder and CEO of Ultradent Products, a private, family-owned company headquartered in Utah. With his extensive first-hand experience developing dental materials, Fischer offers a knowledgeable perspective on the state of tissue management. “The number one enemy to quality restorative dentistry and to operative dentistry is lack of control of soft tissues, especially blood,” he says. “That principally means controlling bleeding, displacing tissues, and creating a clean environment to achieve a quality result. There’s absolutely nothing that succeeds in the presence of bleeding—if a dentist is working blind, unable to see where the margins are, and if sensitive dental materials are being displaced and contaminated by blood, it will fail, whether it’s a direct or indirect restoration being addressed. With digital imaging, I would add that it’s even more important to be in total control since a scanner is unable to record what it can’t see.
“Furthermore, if we have poor-fitting margins, ledges, and overhangs, this can be irritating to soft tissue long term and contribute to the harboring of bacterial plaque in these areas, which complicates periodontal disease and bone loss. Clinicians must do whatever they can to achieve hemostasis and control the soft tissues, creating an environment that is conducive to quality reconstruction of the tooth, particularly restorations with immaculate marginal fit.”
All of the company’s tissue management materials are water soluble and can be cleaned from the preparations before using impression and adhesive materials. That being said, if ever “self etch” adhesives are being used, one should always scour the surfaces clean of coagulum. “Since the advent of high esthetics, we introduced ViscoStat® Clear simply to eliminate any coagulum accumulation in the esthetic zone. However, many clinicians still prefer the standard ViscoStat, because it’s a little more rapid in its onset. Certainly, if a clinician washes and/or scours (in the case of following with self-etch adhesives) it all the way, it becomes a non-issue.”
According to Fischer, the company’s focus from day one has not been simply to control bleeding. Instead, “our goal has been the ability to obtain profound hemostasis—what we call active hemostasis. This is in contrast to passive hemostasis, when the bleeding only appears to have stopped. But the moment the impression material or adhesive applicator touches the tissue, that minor irritation triggers it to bleed again—and you’ve lost the battle before you’ve begun.
“We want to provide the mechanism for profound, active hemostasis so that in the next step, when delivering the impression material with a little fiber brush-type applicator like the FX Impression Applicator, the clinician can rub against the preparation and sealed tissues with confidence that they’re not going to bleed. And working subgingivally with the applicator for the adhesive, they know it’s not going to trigger it to bleed. We believe active hemostasis is paramount to ensure predictable quality impression-making and adhesive restorative dentistry.”
Clinician education has long been an important part of the Ultradent philosophy. “Quite frankly, this was the principal reason that we chose to stay direct in the US,” Fischer explains. “We’re bringing out so many unique and patented technologies—we realized that we had to educate our customer clinicians to assure success. So from the very beginning, we’ve been serious about supporting lectures, research, and publications. We have a number of online CE courses, and I believe we have more podcasts than any other dental manufacturer. And we produce a monthly e-newsletter with presentations from various doctors, including myself.” In addition, the company offers webinars, local Lunch and Learns, and training for university students. “Any route that we can take to facilitate education, we’re on it. Particularly when you’re bringing out new solutions, new chemistries, and new designs—as we are—you’ve got to educate.”
As Fischer contemplates the current state of dental healthcare, he says, “Technology is our greatest hope for a better future. I encourage my colleagues in dentistry to look at technology as an opportunity to help us serve our patients better in this downturned economy. As many of our fellow Americans are unemployed, it’s natural that they’re not going to visit the dentist unless they absolutely have to. If we can demonstrate to our patients the importance of prevention and oral hygiene, if we can provide them the most cost-efficient care, and help them safely postpone some procedures until they can afford them—we will have demonstrated our commitment to their health. One day they will be able and willing to return for their regular and elective dental care.”
Ultradent Products, Inc.
505 W. 10200 South, South Jordan, UT 84095