Educating Patients About Premium Materials
Pulpdent’s ACTIVA™ BioACTIVE-RESTORATIVE™ delivers much more than just long-lasting direct restorations
Brittany Bergeron, DDS
Brittany Bergeron, DDS, is passionate about patient education. For every new patient, she books a 90-minute appointment to discuss nutrition and dietary habits, tobacco cessation, oral cancer screening, and more. She believes that educating patients about what she is doing and why she is doing it leads to a better appreciation for the quality of care that she provides, and the results back her up—Bergeron's practice in Towson, Maryland, has doubled in volume since she purchased it in April 2019. "I like to think that our success is a result of really investing the time needed to make patients feel cared for," she says.
Bergeron's practice is primarily insurance-based, but she aspires to eventually move to a fee-for-service model. During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, she stopped accepting insurance from one provider and did not lose a single patient. "That indicated that we must be doing something right," she says. The practice receives a significant volume of patient-based referrals and has strong online reviews, both of which Bergeron attributes in part to her philosophy of emphasizing patient education. "Before restorative procedures, I sit with patients to explain what we are doing and why we are doing it," she says. "I review the materials that we are using in their mouths and why we selected those materials specifically for them. It helps to build trust and open lines of communication."
Bergeron's philosophy evolved from 7 years of working as an associate and a lifetime of being a healthcare consumer herself. "I find it frustrating when a doctor talks to you in a way that you do not understand or does not give you options," she says. "Finally becoming a practice owner gave me the opportunity to treat people the way that I wanted to treat them." Bergeron's practice is thriving from operating this way, but she emphasizes that it also gives her a lot of gratification. "This is the best job that I have ever had," she says. "You cannot put a price on the ability to take care of patients, take the time to speak with them, and make them feel important. We see a number of patients who have severe dental anxiety or are victims of domestic or intimate partner abuse. I am really proud of what we do, and I go home every night really pleased with the impact that we seem to be having on our patient population."
According to Bergeron, part of practicing the way that she wants to involves using the best materials, and for the majority of her direct restorations, she uses ACTIVA™ BioACTIVE-RESTORATIVE™ from Pulpdent. This highly esthetic, bioactive composite delivers all of the advantages of glass ionomers in a strong and resilient resin matrix that will not chip or crumble. It chemically bonds to teeth, seals against microleakage, and releases calcium, phosphate, and fluoride. Moreover, it is uniquely fracture resistant and durable thanks to a patented rubberized molecule.
ACTIVA BioACTIVE-RESTORATIVE's dual-cure chemistry immediately had an impact on Bergeron's practice. "It allows me to work incredibly efficiently," she says. "I can just complete the procedure faster, which is good for both me and the patient." Another benefit that Bergeron noticed immediately was her patients' lack of postoperative sensitivity to cold. "The way that the material physically bonds to the tooth leads to less leakage around the margin and a better overall seal," she says.
Over time, Bergeron has observed the durability of ACTIVA BioACTIVE-RESTORATIVE. "Even with patients who grind their teeth or those who compulsively brush in an effort to avoid further dental work, the material holds up," she says. "That really speaks for itself. We are not constantly replacing restorations that are chipping or wearing out." In addition to the cosmetic benefits and decreased postoperative sensitivity, Bergeron emphasizes to patients that the ions released by the material work to balance the pH in their mouths and keep their teeth healthy, even when their diets are less than perfect. "Having that conversation with patients makes them feel as if you are on their side," she says. "When we can accomplish that, their perception of the value of the treatment becomes much higher."
Bergeron explains that many patients are excited to see photographs comparing old fillings with the ACTIVA BioACTIVE-RESTORATIVE ones. After learning about how the material works, one patient expressed how cool it was and asked why more dentists weren't using it. Bergeron says she wished she knew the answer to that question. "We have a material that will keep people's teeth healthy while being durable and esthetic," she says. "I do not know why all dentists are not using it, but I feel really good having that conversation with my patients."
Bergeron also utilizes the ACTIVA™ BioACTIVE-BASE/LINER™, ACTIVA™ BioACTIVE-CEMENT™, and ACTIVA™ Presto™ products from Pulpdent. "The cement is fantastic for preventing sensitivity, which makes me look like a hero to the patient. ACTIVA Presto has the ion-releasing properties of ACTIVA BioACTIVE- RESTORATIVE, but it is available in more shades and polishes to a really glossy finish, so I use it for restorations in the esthetic region."
Beyond the excellent products, Bergeron also values Pulpdent's approach to serving its customers. "Everyone there believes in what they are doing. They want to make dentistry better, and they are working toward that goal every day," she says. "I am a nobody—a general practitioner outside of Baltimore, Maryland, with a three-chair practice and two employees—and they care about what I have to say about their materials, my practice, and how they can make my day better. I am interested in working with people who care about me and my practice in the same way that I care about my patients."
• A highly esthetic, bioactive composite that delivers all the advantages of glass ionomers in a strong and resilient resin matrix that will not chip or crumble.
• Chemically bonds to teeth and seals against microleakage.
• Releases and recharges calcium, phosphate, and fluoride to promote apatite formation and reduce microleakage, a leading cause of secondary caries and restoration failure.
• Demonstrates unique durability and fracture resistance due to a patented rubberized resin molecule.