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October 2009
Volume 30, Issue 8

Shofu: An 87-Year Dedication to Innovation

Shofu International is devoted to its motto—Proven Products for Better Dentistry. For 87 years, the company has been dedicated to its mission of providing high-quality products to dentists and laboratories.

“Our new president, Mr. Noriyuki Negoro, has spent 28 years at Shofu in R&D,” says Brian Melonakos, President and CEO of Shofu Dental Corporation. “The message is that the future will be heavy on new product development and R&D.”

Melonakos notes Shofu dedicates a relatively high percentage of its revenue—along with a large proportion of its Japanese workforce—to R&D. During product development, “we go well beyond focus groups and surveys. Rather than just talking to dentists, our R&D employees come from Japan to observe with their own eyes how the dentist is actually treating the patient. In the dental labs, they watch the people working with the materials instead of just questioning them,” he says. “We find this process has been quite useful. It’s one thing to do R&D at the bench and another to do it in a high-production environment.”

Two results of this focus are BeautiBond® and FL-Bond II. BeautiBond, introduced at this year’s Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting, is a 7th-generation, all-in-one adhesive available in unit dose. As a highly effective one-step, self-etch adhesive, it is useful for a wide range of clinical applications. “It can’t get any easier,” Melonakos says. “You put it on the tooth, single coat, air-dry it, and that’s about it.

“The number one unique feature about BeautiBond is that instead of one adhesive monomer—which is typical of 7th-generation—it has dual adhesive monomers: phosphonic monomer, which enhances the enamel bonding, and carboxylic acid, which facilitates bonding to dentin. Both of these working together gives a more reliable and stable bond,” he says.

BeautiBond is HEMA-free to minimize blanching of gingival tissues. “One of the disadvantages of HEMA is that it can absorb water over time, which can lead to a reduction of bond strength over months and even years,” Melonakos explains.

Another Shofu adhesive product is FL-BOND II, a 2nd-generation giomer two-step, self-etching, fluoride-releasing adhesive system. It has a unique primer and bonding agent to provide an excellent bond to enamel and dentin with a secure marginal seal.

Melonakos says FL-BOND II is available in a two-bottle system and takes 35 seconds to be applied, air-dried, and photocured. The primer contains an effective adhesion-promoting monomer and is acetone-free with no HEMA. The bonding agent contains the Surface Pre-Reacted Glass-iomer, which helps reinforce the bonding interface between the restorative material and tooth structure.

With dental professionals conducting the company’s new webinars, Shofu equips dentists with the knowledge they need about adhesive products. “We will be doing more of these webinars because we find they are very convenient for the dentists,” Melonakos says.

In the future, Shofu expects its product development to be even more comprehensive because of its new business alliance with Mitsui Chemicals and its subsidiary Sun Medical Co. Ltd. “We expect a number of new products coming out of both our technology and their new technology,” he says.

Shofu Dental Corporation
1225 Stone Drive, San Marcos, CA 92078-4059
Phone: (800) 827-4638
Fax: (760) 736-3276

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