BISCO Sets Sights on Creating the Best Adhesives
Paul L. Child, Jr., DMD, CMT, Executive Vice President of BISCO, Inc., believes the term “gold standard” has been overused in the dental profession in recent years. “It’s hard to define a ‘gold standard’ when the technology is constantly improving,” says Child. He notes the differences that exist between clinicians, techniques, and procedures are an indication there may not be just one “gold standard” adhesive product that meets everyone’s needs, and variety is absolutely necessary to get the best results every time. BISCO’s goal, he suggests, is to consistently improve the quality of the company’s adhesive offerings regardless of what the industry may consider to be the “gold standard.”
“BISCO is concerned with providing products that are truly better, not just faster or easier,” says Child. “In the past 5 years, the dental industry has witnessed an explosive trend in products which are faster and easier to use, but not necessarily better than their predecessors.” He believes that BISCO’s focus on creating the best adhesives possible is why the company is able to offer such an ample line of successful adhesive products. “The innovation and chemistry is constantly improving. Even when we launch a new adhesive, we are always looking ahead to the next adhesive that is better than the current, even though its launch may still be several years away,” says Child.
BISCO’s ever-growing line of adhesive products includes total-etch, self-etch, and the new category of universal adhesives. “Our criteria of success is changing based on our patients, what can be accomplished with our new materials, and expected longevity,” says Child. The variety of products BISCO offers can be attributed to the different needs of a dental practitioner, he suggests. The different adhesives—total-etch, self-etch, and universal—each lend themselves differently to separate procedures and dentist preferences, and the one that is best for one procedure may not be ideal for another. “If I want to deliver a porcelain veneer, I’d probably be using a total-etch procedure. However, just because I used a total-etch adhesive for a particular procedure does not mean I would want to use it for every procedure,” Child explains.
Child also notes that BISCO has developed new and improved chemistry of its products to remain on the forefront of adhesion technology. He says that because adhesives are technique-sensitive, there is the possibility of less-than-perfect execution on the part of the clinician. “The new direction is finding materials and chemistry that can hold up to an abused environment. When the adhesive is used incorrectly or in less than ideal conditions (as many are) and it still does well over time, that is a good indicator of a durable product, and is one of the characteristics BISCO aims to achieve,” he says.
BISCO has been a leader in the adhesive industry since the introduction of ALL-BOND®, the company’s first adhesive (a 4th generation adhesive). BISCO’s adhesive products are developed to be compatible with different substrates and secondary materials, and each new generation of adhesives builds on the strengths of the previous generation, according to Child. “Each generation has its own merits,” he says, “and many of our customers still use older generations because they are proven over time and are compatible with the other materials they prefer to use.”
Child says another part of BISCO’s success is derived from the direct line the company maintains with its clients. “BISCO is interacting with dentists everyday,” he states. “We are calling our own customers and continually seeking new customers. This requires an intimate relationship with our clinicians, and we believe it is vital to our growth that we support the private practice directly.” The company offers a number of courses for practicing clinicians, and works extensively with private practices and universities to ensure that clinicians understand how and when to use BISCO’s products. “One of the things that drew me to this company was its principles and integrity. In addition to being recognized for speaking the truth, a key principle of BISCO’s is educating the clinician on why our products are better and, probably more importantly, what is best for the patient.”
Looking toward the future, Child says that BISCO is working to develop adhesives that last indefinitely. “Most current levels of adhesion lose a significant amount of bond strength in a short period of time, and this is just unacceptable,” he says. BISCO is in the process of developing adhesive technology that would not only hold up indefinitely, but would also inhibit bacterial growth and tooth decay. “Bacteriostatic, tooth-colored direct restoratives which provide longevity to match that of amalgam or gold is something no one currently offers,” he says.
According to Child, the future of adhesion lies in the addition of improved chemicals and biomaterials to products to deliver specific needs. “Perhaps these new adhesives will provide antibacterial capabilities continuously over time. Or maybe they grow something in the tooth so they become a part of the tooth itself, not just bonded to it. This sort of bioengineering is becoming a reality in many other industries,” says Child, adding that the real future of adhesives is in bioengineering, tissue regeneration, and innovative chemistry. “The next few generations of adhesive materials are going to be completely different than what we know now or can imagine. Those disruptive technologies are what makes a big difference in dentistry and to the public, our patients.”
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