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    A close look at how Pulpdent’s ACTIVA BioACTIVE material was created

    Pulpdent’s Fred Berk tells DPR what sets this bioactive material apart from passive materials.


    Does the dentist experience this difference chairside?

    This has been one of the most interesting things to us. Practitioners observe that ACTIVA has an affinity for tooth structure and wants to become part of the tooth. They have seen this with glass ionomers and MTA, but those materials have limited uses, and they have never seen it before with an esthetic restorative resin material.

    Traditional passive composites have no bond strength whatsoever. In fact, they are repelled by teeth, and a bonding agent is always required. Practitioners have told us that ACTIVA “appears to melt into the tooth.” They immediately observe that something different is happening, and it is intuitive to them that the penetration and integration improves marginal integrity. The ionic exchange, stimulation of apatite formation and sealing of margins cannot be observed immediately at chairside, but SEM and EDS analysis prove this definitively, and the practitioner sees the results at recall visits.

    Related reading: How to easily perform quick, effective restorations with ACTIVA BioACTIVE

    What are the financial advantages of bioactive materials? That is, are they less expensive than passive materials? Do they last longer and don’t need to be replaced as often?

    The greatest cost to dentists is their time. Materials represent only about 6 percent of revenue, and the cost of bioactive materials is comparable to passive materials. Patients are researching online and are increasingly aware of options for dental care. Dentists who use bioactive materials that provide direct benefits for oral health have a powerful story to tell that resonates with an informed public and helps build their practice. The injection technique used with ACTIVA takes a fraction of the time of placing a traditional composite. In a majority of cases, ACTIVA does not require a bonding agent, which saves considerable time and money. We are seeing cases that are more than four years, and they look the same as they did the day they were placed.

    What do you expect for the future of these materials?

    We are in the age of biomaterials. Dentists want to do what is best for their patients and their practice. Materials that mimic nature, behave favorably in the moist oral environment, neutralize conditions that cause dental caries, provide prevention benefits and maximize the potential for remineralization will become the standard of care. Bioactive materials that are strong, esthetic and long-lasting offer a welcome alternative to traditional passive materials. In both public health and private practice, prevention is becoming the model for dental care, and bioactive materials are ideally suited for this model.  

    How did Pulpdent become a leader in this new field of bioactive materials?

    Pulpdent is focused on research and the development of advanced bioactive materials for everyday use in clinical practice. The passive approach to dental materials is a vestige of the 20th century when better options were not available. Those materials may have been the best at the time, but our science team had ideas on how to overcome problems associated with traditional passive materials. We invested heavily in those ideas over a period of many years and developed ACTIVA BioACTIVE products and other bioactive materials that will be introduced in the future.

    Our background may also be a contributing factor. We grew up in dentistry. Our father, a dentist and researcher, taught us that nature has tremendous healing powers, and one of the responsibilities of the practitioner is to create an environment that is favorable for the natural healing process. Dad believed that the best thing we can do for people is help them smile with confidence and live in comfort. With this in mind, we have always been committed to making a difference in people’s lives through oral health.

    Robert Elsenpeter
    Robert Elsenpeter is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Dental Products Report and Digital Esthetics. He is also the author ...


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