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April 2014
Volume 35, Issue 4

Low Shrinkage Stress Helps Shofu’s BEAUTIFIL-Bulk Materials Deliver Long-Lasting Results

John Comisi, DDS, MAGD has been a long-time user of Shofu’s line of fillers with Giomer technology—ie, Shofu’s proprietary Surface Pre-Reacted Glass (S-PRG)—in his Ithaca, New York, private practice. However, for the past few months, he has been testing two newly launched materials, BEAUTIFIL-Bulk Flowable and BEAUTIFIL-Bulk Restorative, as a member of the Catapult Group, a group of 40 to 50 practitioners from around the United States who evaluate dental products prior to their release to the general population. “Our group examines different products—in vivo and in vitro—to determine the effectiveness and benefits of newly released dental products for patients and doctors,” he says.

What makes Giomer products unique, he explains, is the S-PRG filler, which delivers therapeutic, regenerative benefits in the restorative process. “It has the ability not only to release fluoride, but also can be recharged by fluoride present in the various fluoride-containing products used day to day in oral care. Additionally, the S-PRG has been shown to inhibit plaque formation and contributes to the acid neutralization with the release of fluoride, strontium, and other ions.”

With the addition of the Bulk materials in the Giomer line, clinicians can now place the Giomer material in larger increments, up to 4 mm at a time. “Most traditional composite materials are designed for effective light penetration of only 2 mm in depth, so when the clinician exceeds that amount, an incomplete cure can occur, compromising the integrity of the restoration; patients may then experience issues such as postoperative sensitivity,” Comisi explains. Using a bulk-fill material developed for a greater depth of cure, he says, enables doctors to complete procedures more quickly while also reducing the possibility of incomplete cure, shrinkage, and postoperative sensitivity. He also notes that the material is highly esthetic “because the S-PRG filler that enables the light of curing to penetrate deeply into the composite also enhances the material’s ability to mimic the surrounding tooth structure quite nicely.”

Comisi defines the current “state-of-the-art” in composite materials in terms of their ability to meet doctors’ desire for products that are “as effectively simple as possible.” However, he points out, simplification can also generate difficulties. If the stresses of polymerization overwhelm the adhesion of the composite to the bonding agent, loss of the seal will occur and create problems with the effectiveness and longevity of the restoration. “So while the state-of-the-art is simplicity, at the same time, it is important that the seal we’re creating is as durable and long-lasting as possible in the oral environment,” he maintains.

This is especially important, because, as Comisi makes clear, conditions in the mouth can pose quite a challenge to tooth structure and the restorative process. Describing what he calls “a battle for balance in the oral environment,” Comisi blames a constant acidic breakdown—caused mainly by food and bacteria—for the potential ultimate destruction of dentition. “Healing regenerative materials” such as those from Shofu, he explains, “help give the teeth a fighting chance against the onslaught of our day-to-day activities.”

While his patients appreciate these health- and restoration-preserving benefits, Comisi admits what they notice most is the high-quality esthetics. “Of course, they’re happy to know we’re helping them to protect the health of their teeth, but they’re also amazed that they don’t really notice a difference between the filling and the tooth surface; from the patient’s perspective, if it looks natural, they’re delighted.” Between the esthetic and therapeutic qualities of the S-PRG fillers, he says, clinicians can offer their patients restorations that “combine the best of both worlds.”

In keeping with the goal of creating esthetic, long-lasting restorations, Comisi offers this opinion: “You can get natural-looking material and results with other products, but if the material isn’t helping to enhance the overall healing and protection process, you’re missing out on an important part of the equation.”

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