Ultradent's Ultra-Etch, Opalescence and VALO

March 21, 2012

From its humble beginnings 30 years ago in Dr. Dan Fischer’s basement, to its current position as a leader in dental products research and innovation, Ultradent Products Inc. is the focus of this month’s article. Ultradent was formed after Dr. Fischer realized that profound hemostasis was imperative for quality operative dentistry.

From its humble beginnings 30 years ago in Dr. Dan Fischer’s basement, to its current position as a leader in dental products research and innovation, Ultradent Products Inc. is the focus of this month’s article. Ultradent was formed after Dr. Fischer realized that profound hemostasis was imperative for quality operative dentistry. He discovered there were no products on the market that predictably controlled bleeding and sulcular fluid. Astringedent and later Viscostat resulted from that desire to produce a product the market needed. Ultradent now manufactures and packages more than 500 materials, devices and instruments.

I first became aware of Ultradent just after leaving dental school. I received a sample of Viscostat and started to use it in my practice. Most of their products come in easy-to-use syringes. Some are sold pre-filled and some can be purchased in bulk and filled in the office to meet the doctor’s needs. The syringe of hemostatic agent was easy to use and worked as promised, so I decided to look at other Ultradent products on the market. I now use Viscostat Clear as my hemostatic agent, as well as many other Ultradent products. This article focuses on a few of my favorites.

Ultra-Etch

I realize discussing a viscous 35% phosphoric acid etchant isn’t particularly sexy or flashy, but this is the best etchant I have ever used. Ultra-Etch, as with most Ultradent products, comes packaged in bulk form or in pre-measured syringes. I use the prepackaged 1.2 mL syringes. The syringes (and a variety of available tips) are easy to handle and the etchant places precisely, doesn’t run and rinses cleanly. I have tried almost every etchant on the market, and after using Ultra-Etch, I won’t use anything else.  

Opalescence bleaching products

The Ultradent family of bleaching products includes: Trèswhite (preloaded whitening trays in 10% and 15% hydrogen peroxide, used for take-home bleaching), Opalescence (10%, 15%, 20% and 35% carbamide peroxide with or without potassium nitrate and fluoride, used for at-home custom bleaching) and Opalescence Boost (40% hydrogen peroxide with potassium nitrate and fluoride, used for in-office, doctor supervised bleaching).

In my office, tooth whitening is a popular procedure. We offer custom trays and in-office procedures. I love having a full line of bleaching products from one company that I can tailor to the needs of my patients. The Opalescence whitening product line is effective and produces very little sensitivity in most patients. Ultradent continually improves the packaging and available formulations in response to doctor and patient feedback. Ultradent’s newest whitening innovation is Opalescence Oh!, which was unveiled at this year’s Chicago Midwinter Meeting. The whitening formula is packaged in disposable, unit-dose bulbs, taking the guesswork out of the application process. Each bulb fills one whitening tray, eliminating waste or mess. Additionally it’s packaged in a patient friendly tray, making it easy to use and increasing compliance.

VALO LED curing light

This is Ultradent’s newest LED curing light. It replaces the Ultralume 5. It is lightweight and exceptionally durable and has unibody, aluminum construction. The light is a broadband LED that delivers a complete, uniform cure to all dental materials using an optimally collimated beam. There are three curing options: standard, high power and plasma emulation. I was a huge fan of (and still use) the Ultralume 5 curing light and was a little skeptical when my rep wanted me to try the new VALO light. I absolutely love this curing light. It’s lightweight and easy to use with one hand. It manipulates very well in the mouth and can effectively get to those hard-to-reach places. 

These are just a few of the many Ultradent products that I use in my dental practice. Over the years Ultradent has provided excellent customer service and has proven to be responsive to the needs and desires of their doctors. Their products and devices function as promised and their sales representatives are knowledgeable and informative.  Ultradent is a great company with great people and products, and I’d encourage you to give them a try.

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The Benchmark column is written by the directors of the Atlanta Center for Dental Excellence, an alliance of practicing clinicians dedicated to progress in dentistry. The ACDE advises dental companies on product development and marketing, and provides PACE-approved high-level continuing education. To learn more, visit theacde.com, or contact Molly Thompson at info@theacde.com.

About the author

Tamara L. Bailey, DDS, MHA, is Director of Doctor Relations for the ACDE. She lectures and writes on practice management, marketing and clinical topics. Dr. Bailey moderates several Dentaltown.com message boards, and has been named one of the top 25 women in dentistry by Dental Products Report. She practices general dentistry in Weston, Wis.