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Robert Elsenpeter is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Dental Products Report and Dental Lab Products. 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 this bioactive sealant from Premier Dental Products.
Dr. Shalom Mehler, DMD, a general dentist in Teaneck, N.J., says BioCoatTM from Premier Dental Products offers performance and handling capabilities at a level that he has not experienced in almost three decades in dentistry. In addition to its durability, the sealant also features Premier’s SmartCap technology, which was developed in partnership with Creighton University in Nebraska to continually deliver remineralization ions.
“I look to BioCoat, essentially, as my all-around, go-to sealant,” Dr. Mehler says. “I’m practicing now for a little over 28 years, and over a 28-year career, you get to use and utilize a number of different brands of sealants. Basically, the problems with these sealants are all very similar.
“Generally, we get two different problems with sealants,” he continues. “Number one, which I see very often on the six-month recall, is chipping. The reason for that is because most of these sealants are either glass ionomers or resin-filled glass ionomers, and they just do not have a good occlusal wear. Also, there is a water soluble oral environment. So, what happens is, at the six-month recall, you look at the beautiful sealants that you placed six months earlier, and you find that they don’t wear well and you get chipping.”
Further, he notes that most sealants tend to lose their seal after some time.
“The other thing that I find is the borders of it just break down,” Dr. Mehler says. “When you have an irregular border, that attracts plaque, it attracts staining and that’s when you start seeing caries – caries around the old sealant restoration.”
BioCoat seems to resolve these problems.
“I was introduced to BioCoat by Premier, and I just really have nothing but good things to say about it,” Dr. Mehler says. “So, when you ask how I use it, really the answer is it is my all-around, go-to sealant.”
While Dr. Mehler uses BioCoat for all of his sealant needs, he notes that there are a couple of indications for which the sealant would be especially useful.
“There are two specific indications,” he explains. “One of them is for patients who are bruxers, because BioCoat does have very high compressive strength. It goes on the tooth, literally, like a flowable. You are not going to get the chipping and the wear around the sealant, so it is perfectly and beautifully indicated for patients that are bruxers. You’re not going to get the same chipping that you would with a traditional or a different brand of sealant.
“The other recommendation that I would use it for is patients that we would consider a high caries risk,” he continues. “I was doing my own research on the sealant and BioCoat has this technology that they call SmartCap technology. And, essentially, what that technology means is that there are microscopic capsules that are within the sealant itself. The purpose of these capsules is to absorb and release fluoride.”
According to Premier, “The SmartCap technology utilizes patented semi-permeable resin microcapsules. In BioCoat, the rechargeable SmartCap microcapsules are filled with ionic solutions of fluoride, calcium and phosphate, which diffuse in and out of the sealant. The ions supersaturate the oral environment around the enamel, which provides an extra line of defense against demineralization during acid attacks. The extended release of remineralization ions provides long-term protection while strengthening enamel and sealing margins against microleakage.”
“It does this on a daily basis, from the fluoride that is exposed to it by individuals using a fluoride toothpaste,” Dr. Mehler says. “In other words, a patient brushes twice a day, and each time you brush, you are infusing fluoride within the SmartCap technology. And then it’s essentially an extended fluoride release. The SmartCap technology absorbs the fluoride, and then, over time, it releases the fluoride. You’re getting constant fluoride protection for these high caries risk individuals.”
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Using BioCoat is not dissimilar to other sealants, and Dr. Mehler offers advice for the best application.
“As with any sealant, there are air bubbles that could be expressed from the tip of the sealant syringe,” he says. “So, every time I use BioCoat, or any sealant for that matter, I express a small bit of it onto my bracket table, and that releases the oxygen bubbles that might build up. Then, whenever I express the sealant onto the tooth itself, you really get a perfect, perfect mixture.
“Even though I know that I get a perfect mixture on the tooth every time, what I always do is take an explorer, and I run it through the sealant once it’s been expressed into the grooves of the teeth,” Dr. Mehler continues. “That will always break up a bubble if there happens to be any bubbles in the sealant-and, of course, this is before I’ve light cured it.”
With any sealant, he observes, more is not better.
“I use a very little bit of sealant, no matter what brand I use, because the main purpose of the sealant is to block out any nooks and crannies and grooves that are in a tooth,” Dr. Mehler says. “I don’t find much purpose, much reason, for expressing huge amounts of sealant onto the tooth itself. I use a very, very little amount of sealant that I just express directly onto the nooks and crannies and grooves of the teeth. Another advantage of that is when I check the occlusion after a sealant has been placed, I never have a high spot. Everyone’s happy about that.”
After nearly three decades in practice and using sundry sealants, Dr. Mehler says he’s found the one that does it all.
“When I used BioCoat, even the first time, once you see it on a tooth, you know you’re dealing with a different type of sealant,” Dr. Mehler says. “This one, it looks different, it feels different, it wears different. I think it’s the best one to market. To date, I don’t use anything else."