January/February 2011, Volume 32, Issue 1
Published by AEGIS Communications
Kerr’s Proven Composite Science Offers Superior Clinical Results
As an educator, "one of the points I like to stress is that composites are technique sensitive," says Brian LeSage, DDS, a private practitioner in Beverly Hills, California. "You need to follow an exact protocol, but it’s something every clinician can do. Initially, you might need to slow down to get these systems in place in your practice, just as you would have to integrate any new system or procedure. Once you have a good protocol, you can really produce routine excellence—at least that’s how I like to teach it."
LeSage speaks to his experience; he has not used amalgam in over 20 years. "I believe that composite has been a great restorative material for us in dentistry," he says. "Other people may not agree but personally, I’d like to see composite used more often. It works well in all types of situations: posterior and anterior direct restorations, as a cement, for bonding on brackets in orthodontics, and for post-and-core or core buildup material. It is the most versatile—and the most underutilized—material we have."
In addition, composites are continually evolving, with significant advances in their chemistries. "For example, these nanofilled composites (such as Kerr’s Herculite® Ultra) show a lot of promise," LeSage says. "I think they’re going to demonstrate the same strength as the microhybrids, and the polish and the maintenance of the polish seems to be better. Unfortunately, we don’t have any 5-year studies on it yet. But, clinically, what I’m seeing in my practice is they do tend to hold the polish much better than just a pure microhybrid at this point.
"For me, the difference often comes down to handling properties," LeSage adds. "I prefer a stiffer composite, but some clinicians don’t. Also, for me one of the most important points is polishability. However, for many clinicians it’s about getting good marginal integrity—can they put a material in there and layer it so it’s void-free and all the margins well-sealed."
LeSage has used Herculite in his practice for more than 20 years. "It’s my main posterior composite," he says. "I grew up on Herculite—it was around back when I started. When I teach composites, I speak from the heart as both an educator and as a private practitioner with long-term experience. As an example, I can show a case in my presentation that is almost 18 years old now, a composite that still looks very nice.
"Now Kerr is offering the new Herculite Ultra," LeSage says. "Often, when clinicians evaluate a new composite, they’re looking at handling properties and polishability. Herculite Ultra handles very similar to Herculite XRV, which is a relatively stiff composite. However, Herculite Ultra seems to hold its polish better, so it probably is an improved material—we just don’t have the long-term studies to prove that yet."
According to Leo Pranitis, vice president of marketing/innovation at Kerr Corporation , the company offers perhaps the broadest, most proven composite portfolio of any major manufacturer today. "We have quite a history of providing clinicians with the next generation of technology," he says. "Herculite XRV was the first submicron hybrid composite, and after more than a decade at the forefront of the industry, we followed with the first 0. 4-µm particle composite, Point 4™. The unique particle size and distribution of that material offered dentists the highest level of esthetics and blending capability of any hybrid."
Drawing upon its expertise in filler design, the company then developed Premise™ and, most recently, Herculite Ultra. "These two composites—incorporating three different filler types that work together to provide a superior level of esthetics and performance—represent the finest technology available today," Pranitis says "They are based upon our cumulative experience and successes, representing proven as well as innovative composite science."
To support clinicians in their composite techniques, Kerr has invested significant resources in building a robust educational component online (www.kerrdental.com/education). "When dentists visit Kerr Learning Source: Mastering Dental Techniques or our Online Learning Center, they have virtual access to a wide variety of articles, research, and CE-driven webinars," Pranitis says. "We offer some of the most comprehensive educational information online today. In addition, we conduct local events throughout the year where doctors can use our products via clinician-driven hands-on sessions. Simply put, if customers want to learn more about how to improve their practice success with Kerr products, they are only a mouse click or a phone call away from an interactive learning experience.
"At Kerr, our main interest is in providing superior clinical results while enhancing dentists’ experience and patient outcome," Pranitis explains. "That’s an important goal with any of our new products—and it will always be at the core of what guides our product development." Customers should expect to see Kerr uphold its leadership position in the composite category. "Certainly, drawing upon our history of utilizing innovative filler and resin technologies to connect more intimately with human tooth structure will be one area of focus for us," he says. "Dentists should be excited about the future of these materials. Companies like Kerr will continue to invest heavily in new materials that will exponentially enhance the properties and, ultimately, the benefits of modern composite products."
LeSage agrees. "In my opinion, the future of composites is fascinating. I find composite to be a wonderful restorative material that’s extremely versatile, and I hope we’ll see it used more in the future. I often think that most people went into dentistry so they could be a doctor, but they could also be an artist. And what better way to express your artistic talents than sculpting with composite every day? With practice, you can reproduce unbelievable restorations—undetectable, seamlessrestorations—that have all the beautiful nuances of enamel and dentin, with fabulous secondary and tertiary anatomy, to create lifelike restorations. As the profession trends toward minimally invasive dentistry, composites give us the opportunity to practice an additive approach with routine excellence for the benefit of our patients."
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