Shofu’s Bioactive Giomer-Based Restoratives Support Conservative, Therapeutic Dentistry
According to Brian Melonakos, President, Shofu Dental Corp., composite restoration outcomes can hinge on specific properties of the restorative materials used. For example, easier handling and better polishability support practitioners’ ability to offer patients improved function and esthetics; additionally, new bioactive materials have a therapeutic effect on tissues. “These bioactive materials—including Shofu’s wide range of Giomer restoratives, such as Beautifil® II and Beautifil® Flow Plus—actually help heal dentition, or at least help prevent further damage to healthy tissue, as opposed to only acting as inert fillers,” he explains.
Melonakos adds, “All Shofu composites have excellent non-sticky handling and chameleon-like tooth-matching properties as well as these unique Giomer materials that release and recharge fluoride and other important mineral ions, in order to enhance plaque resistance, promote acid neutralization in the mouth, encourage remineralization, and reduce or eliminate secondary caries.” These composites, he says, include microhybrids, injectable composites for all classes of restorations, various flowable viscosities, and both packable and flowable bulk-fill composites.
Shofu offers specialized composite materials as well as universal restoratives, depending on doctor and patient needs, according to Melonakos. He says that in choosing a particular material, the clinician should consider several factors. “Whether to use the same material in both anterior and posterior depends primarily on patient needs and desires. Does the patient have a tendency towards bruxism, for example? Does the patient work in a profession that rewards especially esthetic anterior teeth? What is the patient’s economic situation?”
Melonakos cites an ongoing university clinical study comparing Flow Plus to a more traditional packable composite in Class I restorations. “This study is showing significant time savings and somewhat better clinical results for Beautifil Flow Plus, suggesting that Flow Plus could be an economical alternative based on less procedure time,” he says.
Shofu composites are designed to be used with any of the major categories of curing lights, Melonakos says, but he stresses that curing lights must be properly functioning to fully polymerize successful restorations and that curing for the fully recommended times for each material is, of course, critical. “We emphasize these points in all of our directions for use and in our educational programs,” he stresses.
To support clinicians in their use of Shofu products, the company is committed to continuing education. “We are very involved in continuing education. We continue to expand every year in sponsorships and the number of clinical educators with whom we work.” He adds that Shofu has begun sponsoring live hands-on events with its restorative products at selected major meetings, in addition to workshops and lectures every week at venues throughout the United States and Canada. The company has also brought a research and development scientist from Shofu Japan to work at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, for 1 to 2 years in support of the further advancement of bioactive composites and other restorative materials.
“Increasing educational support is probably the most important factor driving our rapid sales growth in recent years,” Melonakos suggests.
In looking ahead, Melonakos says Shofu may add matrix bands to its product offerings in the near future, and will otherwise focus on further improving and expanding its offering of restorative materials. “As any research-based dental company knows, optimizing one or two composite characteristics may not necessarily lead to increased sales unless all other desirable product characteristics remain uncompromised. For instance, certain resin materials may minimize shrinkage but might have shortfalls in other areas, such as lesser esthetics or poor handling. Incremental improvements in areas of shrinkage, handling, polishability, compressive strength, and so on, seem to be the rule.”
What the company remains most enthusiastic about, he maintains, is improving bioactive properties in its composites and other restoratives. “Shofu is strongly committed to minimally invasive cosmetic dentistry,” he asserts. “We are developing a wide variety of products that support conservative dentistry and the preservation of healthy teeth and gums over lifetimes.”
Shofu Dental Corp.
1225 Stone Dr
San Marcos, CA 92078-4059