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Laura Dorr is the executive editor of DPR's Modern Dental Network.
How 3M™ Filtek™ Universal Restorative is helping one practitioner provide better shade matching with more efficiency.
Dentists always want to provide their patients with the most natural-looking restorations, but color matching can often mean struggling to choose from an overwhelming 19 different VITA shades. Sometimes, fewer options work better-and can make a practice more efficient.
Dr. Jason Lipscomb, a private-practice dentist in Richmond, Va., discovered just that with 3M™ Filtek™ Universal Restorative, which conveniently features eight designer shades. These eight options cover all the classical VITA shades, and an Extra White shade covers the VITA bleach shades. This helps practitioners create natural restorations with fewer shades. Having fewer options has greatly simplified the shade process for Dr. Lipscomb since he began using Filtek Universal in his practice several months ago.
“So often you find an in-between shade that’s hard to match, but Filtek Universal is great for those teeth,” Dr. Lipscomb says. “In fact, the first thing I noticed with Filtek Universal was the color matching and chameleon effect.
“To be honest, shade matching in posterior restorations was not a high priority for my patients. We would try to match as best as possible, but it wasn’t always a home run,” he continues. “With the new Filtek Universal, it’s much easier to match those restorations, and it allows us to give the best results for our patients-even in areas that might not be critical in terms of esthetics.”
As a result, Dr. Lipscomb has replaced some of the other products he’s long used, particularly posterior composites, with Filtek Universal. This is in part due to the product’s color-matching capabilities, but also because it’s easy to work with, thanks to its creamy handling and 2 mm depth of cure.
“Filtek Universal is very easy to place, polish and, of course, match,” Dr. Lipscomb says. “I have always enjoyed the way Filtek handles and the polishing characteristics. It seems to work quite well in my composite warmer as well.”
Filtek Universal is also hardy and stands the test of time. AFM and AUDMA monomers ensure low-shrinkage stress and improved stress relief, while nanoparticles provide long-lasting wear resistance.
While Dr. Lipscomb has found Filtek Universal also can be effective in anterior restorations because it offers excellent polish retention and blends well with surrounding dentition, he does say it’s on a case-by-case basis.
“I’ve used Universal for several anterior restorations and it matches very well, but it may not be my choice in all cases,” he explains. “However, the NaturalMatch technology is a big success. I was surprised by the shade matching. Every time you try a new product, you never know if it will live up to the hype-but Filtek Universal does.”
Because of this uncertainty, implementing a new product can be intimidating. However, Dr. Lipscomb was pleased to find he had help with the learning curve thanks to the educational opportunities available through 3M and Bioclear®, who teamed up for educational sessions and training for dentists using 3M materials in the implementation of the Bioclear Method.
“I recently had the pleasure of attending a local Bioclear class. It shined a light on the proper workflow for 3M products such as Scotchbond™ and Filtek composites, which has carried over to my use of Filtek Universal. I was impressed by the continuing education offerings from 3M, and it has helped me become more efficient in my practice. I would highly recommend taking advantage of 3M educational opportunities to gain a better understanding of their products and their uses.”
The bottom line for Dr. Lipscomb? Filtek Universal can ensure that posterior restoration “home run” he was sometimes missing with other products. “I would recommend Universal to other clinicians. The shade matching is a great addition to any toolbox!”