At the Greater New York Dental Meeting 2023, Dental Products Report had a chat with presenter, educator, and clinician Adam Hodges, DMD, to talk a little more about Filtek from 3M. [4 minutes]
Hey, I'm Adam Hodges, DMD. I'm a general dentist in Asheville, North Carolina working with my brother. And, and I've been using the Filtek Matrix since 2017.
So you know, it's interesting, I think that typically you get really good at the things that you practice. So with regard to that, a lot of dentists aren't doing a lot of big anterior composite cases. And as a result, they have some trepidation about doing these cases. So they tend to avoid them. I know for me personally, that's something I did just because without that frequency, I didn't develop the skill to feel real confident with it. So that's one of the things that that's problematic. And that's why dentists tend to avoid them and offer other solutions, which may be more invasive. Now, that's not for everybody. But I'd say for me, that's why I would offer that solution, because I was a little bit nervous about my ability to deliver for my patients, and do it in a timely manner. So the Filtek matrix is, is sort of a cheat code for anterior composites, if you will.
The interesting thing about it is one of the hardest things for us to do is to build symmetry. Again, in dental school, we were waxing teeth, we had a lot of ability to practice that skill and work with it. But once you get out, a lot of what you're doing with dentistry is reductive. And you lose that sharpness of that skill. So the field tech matrix allows you through a digital design to offer a solution where you can basically build the entire segment of the teeth with the veneers or diastema closures, and then basically just spend time finishing and polishing it back, which is the things that we're better at because that's what we practice more often. So it makes that procedure a lot more efficient.
So for me now, where it used to take 4 and 1/2 to 5 hours to do 6 units of anterior composite dentistry. Now I'm able to do that an hour and a half predictably, and put it in my schedule. So the obvious answer is one of the biggest misconceptions that I had with regard to why patients didn't accept treatment was it was a financial barrier, and why that certainly can be an issue. I'm surprised how many of my patients now and offered a solution where we don't have to reduce their teeth, certainly a lot more interested and a lot more likely to go through a treatment. So it benefits patients because we can now get them through their life, keeping their remaining tooth structure and basically getting in through the stages of their life without having to reduce teeth, because we know that once we reduce the tooth, we're going to significantly shorten the lifespan of that tooth. So the issue is that we're preserving teeth. And we're giving them a simpler solution that's more effective, more efficient for us and more cost effective for them.
What I like most of all, is the fact that I can predictably give this procedure to my patients. So again, an hour and a half, I can do this procedure. And I can do it predictably. And I can spend more time building an anatomy and the things that I really would prefer to do. So it just gives me confidence and confidence in a busy daily schedule of general dental office is something that I need in order to predictably want to do the procedure. And now I've got my staff members, my auxiliaries are actually becoming ambassadors. And I'm getting referrals for this procedure, because it's a solution that we know we needed. But we knew it was a pain point for dentistry. So it's just nice to have that tool in my tool chest to be able to offer my patients. So it's going to be variable for different dentists, the learning curve for different dentists will be really dependent on how much of this procedure that you do, if you don't do a whole lot of this and your practice, then maybe it'll take you 4 or 5 cases before you feel really comfortable. And then if you've done a lot of dentistry and done a lot of anterior composite dentistry, and maybe 1 or 2 cases and you're ready to go, then your only obstacle is just utilizing this new matrix to be able to do it. And it's really simple to use. And once you use it, you're like, Wow, this solution that solves a problem that I had in dentistry, just talking about this is it's one of those things.
It's interesting that now when I'm doing this, it's improved my other–now that I'm doing the Filtek matrix system, improve my other composite dentistry, because now I'm doing it we're working on that skill a lot more often. So I can my polishing has gotten better, my contours have gotten better. I'm thinking about these skills a lot more. And if they took it away, I'm not sure that I would want to continue doing it because honestly, I think it would be back to while I may be more efficient, I wouldn't be as efficient as I am now. So for me this has really changed my practice and changed my patient's perception of what we can offer them