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Inside Dentistry
March 2021
Volume 17, Issue 3

Designed to Be Different

Highlights from our discussion on VisCalor® bulk with Leonard Hess, DDS

In many ways, composites have become a commoditized product in dentistry. "There isn't much differentiation between manufacturers," says Leonard Hess, DDS, a private practitioner from Monroe, North Carolina. "Therefore, it's certainly nice to see a company that's improving the handling and flow of the material."

In a recent discussion with Product Talk, Hess recounted his experience using VisCalor® bulk, a bulk-fill composite with thermoviscous technology from VOCO. Its completely redesigned dispenser with near-infrared technology warms the composite, making it flowable for the application, and then immediately after coming into contact with the lower temperature hard tissue of the tooth, it becomes sculptable. This optimizes the material's ability to flow into the margins and undercut regions, minimizing the risk of marginal gaps.

"This design results in great handling," Hess confirms. "This is not really a dispensing gun. It's a dispensing instrument that is decisively engineered for this product," he says. "This dispensing instrument warms the material to its proper temperature in about 30 seconds. Then, you have a working time of about 2 and a half minutes to utilize the material on one or more restorations."

When doing a Class II restoration in the past, the depth of the box interproximally would dictate Hess's technique. "If I was going to go deeper than 4 mm, then I would to use a two-step curing process in there," he says. "I would start by using a flowable composite to make sure that I was achieving adaptation in the interproximal area,then I would come back in with the final restorative material for the second stage. However, VisCalor has eliminated the need to switch between two different materials."

Another factor improving VisCalor's handling is the reengineered dispensing tip, which is smaller and thinner than those of other composite systems. "It's so important because you need to be able to visualize where the tip is going into that interproximal box," Hess says. "If the tip is too wide or if too much material is extruded, you can't be sure that you aren't incorporating an air bubble into your final restoration."

After Hess had used the dispenser once or twice, he found it to be highly manageable. "The engineering of this dispensing instrument is just fabulous," he says. "We've talked about warming composites for years, but we were trying to warm materials that weren't designed to be warmed."

"With VisCalor, we now have a product that was designed to do that," he concludes. "When this material is dispensed, it looks right and feels right, so you know it's right."

Leonard Hess, DDS, is a senior faculty member at the Dawson Academy and maintains a private practice in Monroe, South Carolina.

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