Shofu’s Giomer Products Open New Doors for Clinicians
One of the more problematic aspects of finishing a composite restoration can be its roughness, especially at the gingival and interproximal areas. "We have seen this in many studies," says John Comisi, DDS, a private practitioner in Ithaca, New York. "If that area is not glasslike and smoothly polished, the patient will continually have plaque buildup, and eventually accelerate the breakdown of the restoration. However, some new materials with glass-ionomer type properties appear to minimize that."
As an example, he mentions the proprietary Surface Pre-Reacted Glass Ionomer (S-PRG) filler in BEAUTIFIL II from Shofu. "The company calls it a giomer. An 8-year study of this S-PRG filled composite gives it a type of glass-ionomer property that creates a film that inhibits plaque formation around the restorations. Of course there are dozens of fluoride-releasing composites on the market; however, they only release fluoride, they do not recharge. The S-PRG filler material in BEAUTIFIL II makes it the first composite product that both releases and is able to be recharged by fluoride over and over again. This, therefore, will provide continual protection to the tooth and help make the tooth more caries resistant."
Because Comisi likes to use glass ionomers as part of his restorative process, "having a composite with properties much like a glass ionomer in so many aspects—while at the same time having the physical properties of a composite, is really very exciting." BEAUTIFIL II offers a number of other important advantages. "It is extremely strong, and it polishes to an enamel-like finish," Comisi says. "This filler material and particle size enables the composite to be very durable. Because of its luster, it can be used anteriorly, but it is also strong, which enables it to be used very effectively in posterior teeth too."
The S-PRG filler has also been incorporated into Shofu’s new BEAUTIFIL Flow Plus, a flowable composite in two unique viscosities: Zero Flow (F00) and Low Flow (F03). "The unique aspect about the Flow-Plus Zero Flow is that it will stack, self-level, will not slump, and it stays where you put it," Comisi explains. With these two additional materials, it is possible to do things with a flowable composite that you may never have considered before, because of this ‘stays where you place it’ property. That is very exciting in so many different situations that I can think of. It can open up other doors for clinicians as they go forward with their restorative needs."
In Comisi’s opinion, Shofu’s S-PRG giomer product places the company on the cutting edge of the industry. "They realized the benefit of including a glass-ionomer component to their composite restoratives and what it could do to help dentistry. I expect we are going to see this S-PRG technology brought into more of their materials and bonding agents. This could, perhaps, help overcome the problems we have seen in the bond interfaces of so many ‘self-etch’ bonding agents, which don’t etch the enamel well and are too hydrophilic to prevent bond breakdown. I think Shofu is going to be a significant player in helping the profession move forward with better and better techniques."