An Interview with Brian Lindke, CDT
Inside Dental Technology spoke to Brian Lindke, CDT, co-owner of VividX and owner of SYNrG Lab in Buford, Georgia, about a new flowable, light-curing micro-hybrid composite.
Inside Dental Technology: What need did you see in the market for a better flowable, light-curing micro-hybrid composite?
Brian Lindke, CDT: I have worked with a significant amount of different pink composites due to the nature of the work we do; we simulate gingival tissue. The challenge has been application and efficiency. Most composites on the market are in a thick, paste form. To make sure that air does not get trapped, the composite needs to be manipulated very carefully to ensure a good connection to the material. Additionally, creating lifelike colors has been a challenge. There are some good colors on the market, but the majority of pinks are not really true gum color.
There is too much offset on other influences, such as orange, etc. A flowable hybrid composite that offers true-to-nature colors and is highly filled with ceramic while being very viscous and flowable would be a critical advantage.
IDT: When was it that you first encountered a product like that?
Lindke: Approximately a year and a half ago, I was first introduced to Ceramage UP from Shofu Dental Corporation. Initially, I thought it was too thin, because typically when something feels thin and flowable, it does not have much ceramic filler in it. However, I have learned through Shofu’s R&D department that Ceramage UP is filled with more than 70% ceramic. It was difficult to wrap my head around that, but I tested the material and ground on it, and eventually just accepted that this material is amazing.
IDT: What impact has this product made on your laboratory?
Lindke: We do a lot of digital dentistry. I officially opened a second laboratory, SYNrG Lab, on January 1 after working on it for 4 years. SYNrG Lab is solely focused on building implant surgical guides and final implant restorations—primarily all-on-X. We utilize a significant number of PMMA restorations that need pink tissue replication. This becomes our working blueprint, which we then translate that to the final restoration. It is a challenge when using different materials to go from surgery to the interim prosthesis to the final restoration, while fine-tuning it along the way to ensure that the finished pink tissue is at the optimal shade. However, Ceramage UP can be used for the tissue at every stage of the case. This increases efficiency in the laboratory significantly. As all laboratory owners know, our biggest expenditure is labor. Even though I have digitized the process as much as possible, analog steps still remain. The most significant remaining step is the composite. By streamlining and working with a user-friendly, efficient material, I have reduced the hands-on labor time.
IDT: What are some of the other benefits of it?
Lindke: Ceramage UP comes in a pen-like delivery system. It is not necessary to squirt material out of a tube and cut it off like a putty. Instead, the user will have good control of the tube for accurate placement. The precise tip allows you to add to intricate areas very easily, cure it, add more as needed, and eventually fully polymerize it. I carry an assortment of Ceramage UP to surgeries because it is compact, effortless to manipulate, and easy for me or a dentist to use.
IDT: What considerations are involved when using this material?
Lindke: Laboratories frequently utilize PMMA, but nothing really bonds to it; materials stick to PMMA, but they do not actually bond. There is a process to ensure the best adhesion possible to the PMMA; I recommend that technicians do not leave out any of the steps, regardless of what they are using for the composite. Shofu has a long history of making materials, including a nice bonding material, CeraResin Bond, and it is imperative that this step is taken. When you apply the pink material to the PMMA, achieving the best adhesion possible prevents fluid from getting in between those layers and weakening them. So it is not just the composite; it is the whole process. The procedure is designed well. I'm truly pleased that Shofu created a whole system that really works.
IDT: What feedback have you received from dentists since you have been using Ceramage UP?
Lindke: They love it. There are a lot of pink composite materials on the market for both laboratories and dentists, since many chairside procedures require it. I have suggested to many of my clients that they try Ceramage UP. The colors are more true to life and it is easier to handle because of the flowability. Everyone I have introduced Ceramage UP to has switched over to it. Ceramage UP is beneficial in both clinical and laboratory environments.
IDT: If another laboratory is on the fence about this, what would your advice be?
Lindke: I would advise that, at the very least, they buy a couple of shades of the individual tubes and try it in a direct comparison with whatever they are currently using. Judge it on the color and the workability of it. Those two factors are distinct advantages that anyone can realize immediately.