A behind the scenes look at DENTSPLY Caulk's new Aquasil Ultra Cordless Tissue Managing Impression System [VIDEO]

October 26, 2013

Issue 10

We recently talked with Paul Pierson, Principal Packaging Engineer R&D, and Richard Burde, Senior Brand Manager for indirect restoratives, on this new retractionless tissue managing impression system. The team at DENTSPLY Caulk decided there had to be a better way to take impressions.

We recently talked with Paul Pierson, Principal Packaging Engineer R&D, and Richard Burde, Senior Brand Manager for indirect restoratives, on this new retractionless tissue managing impression system.

The team at DENTSPLY Caulk decided there had to be a better way to take impressions.

Packing cord and using retraction paste during the impression taking process causes stress in the dental office-to the point that dentists may skip packing cord to avoid the hassle that comes with it, sacrificing quality.

When you combine this aversion to packing cord and retraction paste with studies from Harvard and Tufts University that say 89 percent of impressions sent to labs have one to two defects in critical areas, the team at DENTSPLY Caulk knew something had to change. Impression taking shouldn’t be a stressful process, and that defect rate simply is not acceptable.

About three years ago, they set out to create a simple, predictable system for taking impressions. They’ve achieved that goal with the new Aquasil Ultra Cordless Tissue Managing Impression System and digit power™ Dispenser. We recently talked with team members Paul Pierson, Principal Packaging Engineer, R&D, and Richard Burde, Senior Brand Manager for Indirect Restoratives, about the system and the benefits it can bring your practice. Here’s what they had to say.

Q: What was your role in this product’s development?

PP: I played a two-part  role,  one as co-project manager and the other as lead engineer.  I shared the project management responsibilities with my marketing counterpart, Rich Burde. Together, we managed the development phase of the project and coordinated the activities of internal and external engineers, scientists and clinicians. 

As lead engineer, I was responsible for the technical development of the digit power™ Dispenser, which involved taking it from concept to a finished product. This project was truly a group effort, which required the skills of many talented professionals at Caulk. Several scientists developed the formulation and other engineers worked on our filling capabilities. Many others contributed to our product development efforts.

RB: As the marketing representative for DENTSPLY Caulk’s Indirect Restorative products, I own the Aquasil Ultra brand. I have been part of this project from the ideation stage to the launch. It took the efforts of a cross functional team consisting of Clinical, Marketing, Engineering, R&D, Quality and Manufacturing representatives to develop this innovative new product.

We take a close look at the different procedures and products and strive to design products that provide solutions to meet the demands of our growing dental community.

Q: What were some of the challenges?

PP: Trying to make an affordable system, keeping costs down and trying to create a device that was comfortable and easy for doctors to hold. We focused on a pen shaped design so doctors could hold the dispenser like a drill. The other challenge was incorporating pressure regulation into the system.

We separated the pressure regulator from the handpiece to keep the handpiece light and small. We also developed an adapter that allows the dispenser to fit on dental delivery units for activating and deactivating the air supply.

RB: Initially we ran into a challenge when we tried to create a material that retracted tissue the same as retraction cord. What we found was we didn’t need the same type of retraction that you get with retraction cord. Visually the impressions look different. They have a thin film, not a thick band of material around the prep.

Dental laboratories confirmed that all of the marginal detail was present and found the impressions acceptable. Crowns that were made from the impressions were clinically successful and fit well. The result is possible because the pneumatic digit power™ Dispenser places the Aquasil Ultra Cordless Tissue Managing Impression Material directly into the sulcus through the ultra-thin intrasulcular tip capturing the finest marginal details.

Q: What features are you most proud of?

PP: I’m proud of the entire device and the new procedure. We have been able to make a meaningful change to the impression taking procedure that makes it simple and predictable. It’s going to make a big difference in the way a lot of dentists practice. And that’s not just me talking. That’s what we’ve heard from our users.

When tissue retraction pastes came onto the market, a real surge of people began developing products in that new category. That’s because everyone recognized packing cord was difficult and there needed to be a better way.

Dentists went toward retraction pastes to find a better solution. They found that retraction paste manages hemostasis, but does not provide the retraction they’re looking for.  Our system has a very fine cannula that enables us to get material directly into the sulcus with precision, so you don’t need the cord or the paste.

RB: I am proud of several additional product features: First, we optimized the Aquasil Ultra formula by increasing its market-leading tear strength to a new super high level, ensuring even the thinnest margins stay intact upon removal. 

Second, we have designed a built-in safeguard against intraoral work time violations. Each digit power™ cartridge can be fully dispensed within its intraoral working time and allows enough time to seat the impression tray.

Third, there is a significant placement time savings, 5-7 minutes, when not packing cord or retraction paste. This is time that can be used to accomplish other tasks like checking another patient. Lastly, because we are combining two categories, tissue management and the impression making procedure, we created a new category called Tissue Managing Impression Material.

Q: What feedback have you received?

PP: The feedback has been phenomenal. Dentists are saying, “this makes my life easier. “They’re getting predicable results. It’s easier than packing cord. Those are things that are meaningful to the doctor. It reduces the time of the impression making procedure. If you can eliminate packing cord, that’s just huge. Cord packing is difficult and is stressful for the doctor and the patient.

RB: If you ask dentists how much they enjoy packing retraction cord you will immediately understand why it is an extremely stressful procedure by their emotional response.

We asked evaluators how interested they were in buying a product that does not require retraction cord in most cases, and the results we received in the top box, very interested, were extremely high in comparison to other products we have launched. That tells us we have a game changing product here that doctors are really interested in acquiring. It’s going to change the way dentistry is done. 

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