January/February 2011, Volume 32, Issue 1
Published by AEGIS Communications
Heraeus Leads the Shift in Dental Composite Technology
A tradition of innovative spirit and business acumen clearly characterizes the family-owned company of Heraeus, says Nicole Turner, director of marketing. "What began more than 150 years ago continues to carry forward today—a family-owned company that is well equipped for the technological and economic challenges of both today and what lies ahead."
Heraeus has a deep-rooted history of innovation and product development. "The process and parameters for design input have been optimized, which is a significant part of the company’s modern-day success," says Sonny Serreno, director of scientific and clinical affairs. Its status as a privately owned, global Fortune 500 company in this current age proves that Heraeus is a world-class leader when it comes to product development. Heraeus utilizes all facets of its scientific management resources around the world to guide a very deliberate path forward. "The key is to allow for creative elements to flourish in that somewhat rigid process. Heraeus products are used globally, in a multitude of health-related treatments—and that’s only possible through assessing customer needs, testing, and having end users and patient feedback built into the design of our offerings," Serreno explains.
"We seek to understand how and why patients want to be treated," says Christopher Holden, president of Heraeus Dental. "It is essential to fuse the desires of the patient with the treatment requirements as set forth from the professional’s point of view. Our effort to support this evolving phenomenon through our clinical technologies, communication activities, and professional training events has become a clear focus for Heraeus Dental," says Holden.
Nanotechnology has been gaining ground in modern dental medicine and has become common in tooth-colored dental materials, particularly for the versatile nature of both anterior and posterior use. Most composite advances in recent years relate to the composition of the fillers—specifically size, shape, and type of filler. "To lead the shift in dental composite technology, Heraeus has invested 5 years of clinical research developing a unique patented TCD monomer that Venus Diamond® is based upon," explains Jennifer Kalinowski, senior product manager. "TCD stands for tricyclodecane, a principal building block in the monomer that serves as the base material for the Venus Diamond system. This patented matrix and completely new type of monomer combine the qualities of superior esthetics and long-lasting durability with the ideal handling that every dentist expects."
With Venus Diamond, Heraeus has developed a universal nano-hybrid composite—offered in 23 shades with three opacities—that combines low shrinkage and low stress with a high degree of durability and wear resistance. These key features, coupled with industry-leading color adaptive qualities, produce restorations that possess an acclaimed combination of esthetics, strength, and ideal handling with outstanding mechanical properties.
The newest addition to the Venus suite of esthetic products, Venus® Bulk Fill is a high-performance flowable composite that delivers low shrinkage stress and is ideal for use as a bulk fill base or liner below a small layer of Venus Diamond composite. Compatible with all methacrylate-based composites and bonding adhesives, Venus Bulk Fill enables dentists to fill in 4-mm increments, with the added benefits of long working time, high radiopacity, and low shrinkage stress. Significant benefits of using a material with low shrinkage stress are reduction in marginal gap formation and marginal discrepancies which can be the cause of secondary caries and postoperative sensitivity. Dentists can be confident that both Venus Diamond and Venus Bulk Fill are part of a system of materials that deliver low shrinkage stress and provide the reliability and consistency dentists are seeking.
"Ultimately, we look to our dental customers to see what they are expecting and what will yield them the greatest success," Kalinowski says. "In doing so, Heraeus has built an innovative and interactive platform that allows doctors to access and review product videos, techniques, and comprehensive restorative cases. We aim to educate dentists through online continuing education courses that are available to them on demand, as well as through symposiums and hands-on lectures, where the goal is to teach new and different techniques, along with efficient application methods, rather than just simply product features.
"Regardless of whether a dentist chooses a traditional technique to restoring teeth or opts for a product that offers a more efficient method saving chairtime for both patient and dentist—restoration longevity, superior esthetics, and excellent mechanical properties are paramount when making that choice. The Venus Esthetic System of products exceeds all those needs," Kalinowski explains.
All aspects of the restorative process are equally important, whether it is form and content or correct shade matching. However, the ultimate esthetic success of the final restoration still depends on the skills and preferred techniques of the restorative dentist. Understanding this basic concept is what drives Heraeus to deliver not just individual products, but an Esthetic Brand Solution that encompasses a system of cross-functional, efficient, and highly esthetic product offerings that allow dentists to produce long-lasting restorations.