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Robert Elsenpeter is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Dental Products Report and Digital Esthetics. He is also the author of 18 technology books, including the award-winning Green IT: Reduce Your Information System's Environmental Impact While Adding to the Bottom Line. As such, he’s particularly interested in the technological side of dentistry.
One dentist explains the benefits of using COMPONEER by Coltene.Coltene’s COMPONEER® is a new class of veneers. They are pre-fabricated nano-hybrid-composite enamel-shells combining the advantages of direct composite restorations with those of lab-made veneers. They are extremely thin (up to 0.3 mm), which allows natural tooth structure to be conserved during preparation.
Coltene’s COMPONEER® is a new class of veneers. They are pre-fabricated nano-hybrid-composite enamel-shells combining the advantages of direct composite restorations with those of lab-made veneers. They are extremely thin (up to 0.3 mm), which allows natural tooth structure to be conserved during preparation.
We talked to Dr. Lundon Albrecht, DDS, a general dentist in Mentor, Ohio, about how he uses COMPONEER and for which patients it is best suited.
How is COMPONEER different from other veneers?
COMPONEER differs from traditional porcelain veneers in many ways.
First, less time. They only require one visit and can be shaped and seated by the dentist in roughly 30 minutes per tooth (which also means, no temporaries.)
Second, less cost. Porcelain veneers can be $1,000 or more per tooth, while COMPONEER ranges from $350-$450 a tooth. Plus, there is no lab fee.
Third, more forgiving. The best difference between the two is that COMPONEER is easy to repair and adjust. If a patient chips or breaks a COMPONEER, it can easily be repaired with a simple composite filling.
Tell us about COMPONEER’s esthetics.
COMPONEER provides realistic esthetics because they are customized in the patient’s mouth. I’ve used them with success next to crowns, veneers and bonding. The prefabricated 0.3 mm thin shells come in two colors: “universal” and “white opalescent.” Universal provides a more natural appearance with the desired composite color, while the white opalescent provides a brighter white appearance.
What are the benefits for the clinician?
The benefits for the clinician are countless. The hardest part with bonding is shaping and polishing the composite to avoid staining. All of that is already completed with COMPONEER. The thin, nano-hybrid composite shell is pre-shaped and smooth to resist stain; the dentist just needs to press it on with the composite color of choice. The main benefit is COMPONEER provides a cosmetic element to the everyday dentist’s practice. They are easy to place and affordable to patients. What else could you ask for?
What are the benefits to the patient?
The benefits to the patient are numerous. Patients would tell me, “I hate my smile.” I’d treatment plan veneers for them and they wouldn’t be able to do them because of cost. Now, I provide both types of veneers for my patients. COMPONEER patients are grateful to have a smile they’ve always wanted but couldn’t afford. They can also afford to do more than just the front two teeth, which provides them with a more complete smile.
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Are these suitable for any patient?
I’ve done them on any type of patient, really. I’ve done them on elderly patients; I’ve done them on young kids that had braces removed that have decay from their brackets. They’re great for anyone. The reason why they’re great, as opposed to porcelain veneers, is cost. You won’t meet a dentist who hasn’t treatment planned porcelain veneers before. It’s just so expensive that you treatment plan veneers, and then patients just don’t do them. So those patients are perfect candidates for COMPONEER. It’s amazing because you can tell patients that they can do six veneers for $6,000 or they can do six COMPONEER for about $2,000, and patients will always do them. Patients that used to always say no to veneers will say yes to COMPONEER because it provides them with a middle ground.
It provides a way for the everyday dentist to do cosmetic dentistry at an affordable price for their patients, and that’s what makes it so great.
Is COMPONEER easier to apply than other veneers?
Prepping teeth for veneers is technique sensitive, requiring a perfect impression, followed by a regimented cementation procedure. The COMPONEER process requires less time and is less technique sensitive. You don’t have to do veneers or be a cosmetic dentist to do COMPONEER. If a dentist has ever done a white filling, they can do a COMPONEER.
The process is the same, except the hard part of shaping and polishing the tooth is already done. Simply prep the tooth with a facial margin, choose the size of COMPONEER, shape it as needed, etch and bond the tooth, place bond on the intaglio surface of the COMPONEER, place the desired composite on the intaglio surface of the COMPONEER, press on the tooth, clean excess, cure, and adjust as needed.
What is involved with tooth preparation?
There are times when you won’t have to prepare the tooth at all. If that tooth is sunken back, maybe laying lingual, I won’t even really prep that tooth at all. I’ll just place the veneer over it. But if it’s a tooth where we are veneering it just to make it look nicer, the thickness of the COMPONEER is about 0.3 mm, so it’s really, really small. It’s like a sandwich: The COMPONEER is on top, and between that and the tooth is the composite. That’s what adheres it to the tooth. And maybe the composite thicknesses is about 0.2, 0.3 mm, so you may only really need about 0.5 mm of clearance. Maybe you’ll only have to reduce it by about 0.5 mm.
On average, all the preparations are in enamel. If it’s an ideal situation, you’re just basically taking a little bit of thickness off the facial part of the tooth, just to allow enough room for the COMPONEER and the composite.
With these, you’ll just reduce the tooth nice and kind of flat, and then you’ll try the COMPONEER in the mouth, and if it looks like it’s okay, then you’re good to go. That’s what’s nice with these: You just customize it in the patient’s mouth, so you’re able to just keep trying it again. You may have to reduce here, you may not have to reduce here, so it makes it more conservative because you may not have to take tooth structure away.
What is involved in shaping the COMPONEER?
You’ll take a size template, and typically a patient is going to be medium or they’re going to be large, and so you’ll try one of those guides on the tooth. I would say more often than not it’s pretty close, but if it’s not, maybe the COMPONEER is a little too long, there’s a lot of ways to do it. So I’ll set them in, kind of eyeball it, then use a little disc to shave it down a little bit. There are other techniques that I’ve kind of come up with where I’ll squirt some bite registration on the back of it and then stick the COMPONEER on, and as it gets hard it will leave an indentation of the gumline, and then I’ll just trim that away. There are a lot of little techniques to make it simple. You can either spend time shaping it up to make it close, but even when you cement it on, or when you stick it on with composite and then you cure the composite, you go back around that margin with the flame diamond or a finishing bur and just clean that off.