Handling Made Simple: TPH Spectra® ST Incorporates New Filler Technology
As composites continue to evolve and improve, practitioners should critically compare and evaluate available materials in order to choose a product that is beneficial for both their workflow and their patients. “What really matters to the dentist when it comes to choosing a dental composite is that it provides a long-lasting restoration with a highly esthetic—almost invisible—outcome and is easy to use or handle,” explains Rainer Seemann, MBA, Global Director for Clinical Affairs for Restoratives at Dentsply Sirona.
A clinical educator and researcher who teaches preventive dentistry at the University of Bern in Switzerland, Seemann points out that based on market research, one of the biggest complaints among dentists is the handling properties of composites. He views handling, which essentially includes adaptability, sculptability, slump resistance, stickiness, consistency, and polishability, as a key component of dental composites. “If the material handles well, it is more fun to work with and the quality of your work increases,” he surmises.
In his opinion, Dentsply Sirona's new TPH Spectra® ST universal composite checks all of these boxes and more. Incorporating the company's new SphereTEC™ filler technology, TPH Spectra ST offers improved durability and optimized handling characteristics in both a high and low viscosity to accommodate the clinician's preference for placement technique. SphereTEC is a proprietary method of manufacturing microscaled, well-defined spherical filler particles comprised of submicron glass and, Seemann says, is responsible for the improved properties of the new TPH Spectra ST.
“We created a material with great adaptability but, at the same time, great sculptability and high slump resistance,” he raves. “Ideal handling improves your restoration, enabling more reliable results in less time.”
“SphereTEC filler particles consist of small primary particles, and their porous structure is fully penetrated by resin. The latter is responsible for the high mechanical properties of the product, including high wear resistance and high stain resistance, which leads to long-lasting restorations,” Seemann explains. “The fact that the 15-µm big SphereTEC particles consist of small 0.6-µm primary particles is why the material has excellent polishability. When a composite polishes quickly and efficiently, the dentist saves time and money, and the patient will receive a great esthetic result.”
Another feature that simplifies the restorative process for clinicians is that TPH Spectra ST composite provides complete coverage of the full 16-shade VITA® range with just five shades, plus one bleach shade, according to Seemann. “Less shades means less complexity, more predictable results, and more efficiency, as well as a better outcome for the patient,” he suggests.
Additionally, these shades allow TPH Spectra ST to have a unique “chameleon blending ability,” which is a result of the refractive index of the filler matching the refractive index of the resin used in the composite. “The better the match, the better the homogenous light penetration, and the better the blend-in effect,” Seemann says.
To assist dentists just getting started with TPH Spectra ST, Dentsply Sirona offers total practice solutions to show how its products work together. “We offer hands-on courses, CE packages for dental groups, videos, literature, and more to help dentists achieve safer, faster dentistry,” he says.
Reflecting on the composite restoration category as a whole, Seemann sees the improvements as incremental rather than revolutionary. “Sometimes these incremental changes make a big clinical difference. You can look at this like cooking a dish; in principal, different chefs work with the same ingredients to create the dish, but depending on the quality and treatment of the ingredients and the way you bring them together, the dish can be either just okay or worth a Michelin star. It's the same way when creating a dental composite material, and our new composite TPH Spectra ST deserves a Michelin star,” he concludes.
Dentsply Sirona Restorative
38 West Clarke Ave
Milford, DE 19963