Mission Statement

What we want to achieve

Dr. Dan Fischer

We are driven to improve oral health globally through science, creativity and education.

We promise to provide progressive and trustworthy solutions to clinicians, enabling them to respect oral tissues and promote well-being to their patients. Our commitment to humanity is to continually pursue the discovery of cures for caries and gum disease.

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» Walker ShaLyse

Essential Factors to Getting a High Quality Cure

 

So many aspects and variables affect the final outcome of a restoration, be it the technical difficulty of the restoration itself, the quality of the preparation, the chosen composite resin used, etc. However, the impact of the success and longevity of a restoration’s cure is too often ignored. Achieving a predictable, high-quality cure every time is absolutely essential. Here are some factors that influence the quality of any cure, along with a few tips on how to successfully maneuver them to your and the patient’s benefit: 

Proximity to Restoration 

VALO Accessibility

 

Better access to the restoration with the curing light ensures the delivery of the maximum amount of power (emitted light) to the dental material. Therefore, a curing light that allows for perpendicular positioning to any curing site, including posterior teeth, is paramount to the quality of the procedure. While many of the curing lights available on the market feature, at best, a 60° angle at the curing head, VALO®’s slim head and low profile design allow the clinician to easily access hard-to-reach areas, even in smaller mouths. 

Type of Light Emitted 

VALO LEDS

 

Studies have shown, again and again, the importance of a curing light that features a wide spectrum of wavelengths, enabling it to polymerize all dental materials. However, most existing devices on the market don’t offer multiple LED wavelengths nor achieve uniform irradiation with the LEDS offered. VALO’s four highly efficient LEDs provide uniform dispersion of energy to the restoration, at three different wavelengths of light to ensure complete polymerization, every time. 

Beam Collimation and Uniformity 

VALO Collumation

 

Finding a high-energy light that reaches into all aspects of the restoration is critical to predictably producing high-quality results. One of the critical aspects that influence this outcome includes the curing light’s beam collimation and uniformity. Dr. Fischer says, “The quality of a restoration is totally dependent on how adequately that restoration and its bonding agent are polymerized. The power output and size of footprint varies immensely among the curing lights available in the dental market today. VALO’s lens is designed to create a beam that is close to parallel to the preparation, while still emitting enough light to the curing material on the axial walls of the preparation.” This allows VALO to deliver a complete and uniform cure to any restoration. The power, concentration of light, and its collimated, uniform energy output also allow it to cure dental materials completely, even at a distance. Dr. John Kanca of Middlebury, Connecticut, says, “VALO’s ability to produce the greatest amount of energy at distances up to 10mm from the tooth is just amazing. I have been using this light for some time and would not want to be without it.” 

To learn more about VALO, please visit www.ultradent.com.

 
» Dan Fischer

Ultradent’s Most Versatile Product

There is nothing one can do well, in a quality sense, when it comes to operative dentistry in the presence of bleeding. That is why I believe Ultradent’s tissue management line—most notably, ViscoStat® or Astringedent® X (in combination with the Metal Dento-Infuser® tip)—to undoubtedly be the most versatile products that we offer. They’re not only needed, but they’re absolutely paramount to the success of the greatest amount of dental procedures that a clinician performs.

Be it impression-making or in direct-placed restorations, ViscoStat and Astringedent X will quickly, readily, and most importantly, predictably stop bleeding. To be able to do that without leaving the residue of many of the clay or mud-like hemostatics still on the market today, which can contaminate the bonding surfaces and the like, is incredible! Stopping the bleeding quickly so dentists can move on with the procedure means that these products can positively influence more dentistry than anything else. Also, thanks to the aforementioned fast-action and predictability of ViscoStat and Astringedent X, these products are sure to not only be the most useful and versatile tools in a clinician’s arsenal, but they’re also likely to save them and the patient a vast amount of quality time—a priceless commodity.

We’re a company that manufactures cutting-edge dental materials that raise the bar for quality dentistry. Despite Ultradent’s many innovations over our 36 years in the dental industry, I continue to rely on quality tissue management products—the ones that came first and led the way for more than 500 products we offer today—as the fundamentals in almost everything I do. They’re still the most versatile and valuable products that virtually every dentists needs and uses every day.

 
» Walker ShaLyse

20 Reasons to Love Opalescence (Part I)

Since its creation, the Opalescence® Tooth Whitening System has led the way in innovation and continuous improvement in the whitening market and shows no sign of stopping, as it remains the leader in professional tooth whitening today. Here’s a list of 20 reasons why dentists around the world choose Opalescence over any other system again and again. Check it out!

1. Opalescence has promoted and led the way in advances in tooth whitening since 1991.
Inarguably, with its introduction in 1991, Opalescence has revolutionized—and continues to revolutionize—the whitening industry, year after year. It was the first widely accepted professional tooth whitening system and later went on to develop the first widely used in-office whitening system. It was also the first system to add flavor to tooth whitening gels, and led the way in increasing peroxide percentages for safe at-home use.

2. Opalescence introduced the sticky, viscous whitening gel that remains the gold standard for tooth whitening today.
Opalescence’s renowned sticky, viscous gel formula changed both the effectiveness and patient comfort of the tooth whitening process as it allowed the gel to stay in place, preventing migration to the gingiva and from running down and subsequently burning the throat, like many of its predecessors. The gel holds the delivery tray in place to the point that the patient can sleep with a tray in their mouth all night without significant movement of the gel. In addition to comfort, the revolutionary sticky, viscous gel also increases the whitening’s effectiveness by allowing it to stay on the teeth for a greater amount of time.

3. Opalescence’s stability ensures the gel’s effectiveness for the entire duration of whitening time.
Opalescence’s remarkable stability allows for more effective whitening time—whether with a long-wear carbamide peroxide, or a shorter-wear hydrogen peroxide formula. Opalescence products also boast a shelf life of 12 months unrefrigerated, and 18 months refrigerated, allowing the patient to whiten at their own pace.

4. Opalescence has gained national and international recognition with numerous awards for excellence in tooth whitening.
Dentists and patients worldwide rely on Opalescence to achieve the white, bright smile they’re looking for. Thanks to Opalescence’s innovations, consistent results, comfort, and safety, it has garnered the attention of many experts in the field of dentistry, beauty, and the praise of patients throughout its 24 years on the market. Some of these include recognition from industry experts such as Reality, Dentistry Today, Dental Town, and Clinician’s Choice, to name a few.

5. Opalescence’s extensive product line has something for every lifestyle, timeline, whitening preference, and budget.
This includes Opalescence® PF, which is used with a scalloped custom tray and whitening syringes in various concentrations for personalized, at-home whitening, Opalescence® Boost, a high concentration, dentist-administered in-office system that 20 twenty minute applications, over a total of forty minutes chair-time, for a single visit, highly effective treatment, and Opalescence Go®, a semi-custom, pre-filled, disposable tray whitening system that allows users to whiten their teeth at their convenience without the hassle of a custom tray. Truly, Opalescence has something for everyone.

Stay tuned for Parts II and III of this series to learn more about why dentists and patients world-wide love Opalescence. You don’t want to miss it!

 
» Walker ShaLyse

Creativity and Innovation with Peter Allred

Peter Allred

“My favorite thing about my job is the freedom that working in Research & Development (R&D) gives me to be creative and research things. Certainly, it has to be disciplined, but it doesn’t mean I have a script for every day,” says Peter Allred, Ultradent’s Technology Director over Formulations.

Thanks to that culture of creativity and the freedom Ultradent gives its R&D team to try new things, the size and product offering of Ultradent has grown vastly since Peter first arrived. “When I started at Ultradent, I think we had 75–80 people who worked here. Now we have over a thousand! We made Opalescence® once a week—now we make four or five batches a day. Usually we’d make one or two other things, like Ultra-Etch, once a week too. We were a very small operation. There were only 10 people filling syringes and now we have automated machines to do that.” He continues, “We would go to Dr. Fischer’s house once a week or so to fill up two containers of glycerin, which is, aside from water, the most used ingredient in any of our products—and now we receive that in tanker trucks 500 gallons at a time, at several shipments a week. The scales have changed dramatically!”

Peter joined Ultradent in 1991, a year after Opalescence was introduced. Despite the brand’s immense growth over the years, he’s quick to attribute not only Opalescence’s growth, but the growth of modern teeth whitening in general largely to Dr. Fischer. “I’ve inherited a lot of the whitening family over the course of my career, but I stand on very big shoulders. Dr. Fischer is the originator of contemporary whitening as we know it—which has now gained worldwide acceptance. He is the person responsible for bringing it to the masses. Prior to sticky-viscous whitening products like Opalescence, yes, there was whitening, but it wasn’t convenient. It was liquid with horrible tray systems—and the product would run down your throat—it was just awful.”

Known for innovation, Dr. Fischer, Peter, and his team also revolutionized the way we whiten today. “10% carbamide peroxide gels were the mainstay for years. Nobody really dared to go any higher than that. 10% carbamide peroxide is equal to about 3% hydrogen peroxide, and now we’re up to 40% hydrogen peroxide with Opalescence® Boost, so it’s changed a lot (highly concentrated teeth whitening formulas like Opalescence BOOST can only be applied by a dentist and aren’t available for at-home use.) There are a lot of “firsts” on Opalescence’s timeline. We were the first company to offer flavored gels, we were the first to put additives in for improvement in sensitivity too. Some of that stuff, when we did it, was pushing the envelope.”

Peter also played a major role in the introduction of, arguably, the world’s first widely accepted in-office whitening treatment. “Even at its earliest stages, Opalescence BOOST was always red-colored ibecause of the contrast it offered to the teeth so the dentist could see the product clearly and make sure it didn’t go anywhere that they didn’t want it to.” However, shortly after the release of the original product, Peter and his team encountered some road blocks. “We were having issues with the stability of the product over time, which led us to creating the double-barreled syringe delivery system of Opalescence Boost, which separates the components of the product into two separate but connected syringes. That way, the clinician can mix and activate the product when they want, which solved the stability issue.”
He adds, “Of course, the credit for the double-barreled Opalescence Boost syringe also goes to molding R&D, who gave us this amazing system. Since Ultradent introduced it, the double-barreled syringe concept has been innovative enough that it’s now used extensively in the medical field and other industries.”

Today, Peter still loves working to create new and inventive ways to improve the dental industry, not just through teeth whitening. “Whenever a new product comes about, the chemical formula, testing, and first batches always routes through my group.”

As for the future, he says, “I see a lot of opportunity and advancement in the near future with fluoride varnishes. I’m really excited about it. If you think about it, fluoride treatments in the past 20 years usually were delivered with a big Styrofoam tray that they would put in your mouth and it was horrible and disgusting. I think the development of fluoride varnishes has had a huge impact on the industry because it’s a controlled amount of product that is given to the patient. We have a great formula with Enamelast® and it’s going to be really fun to see what the future holds with that.”

Once a congressional nominee for a coveted spot at West Point, Peter says he has no regrets about his long career with Ultradent, which has fostered his love for all things R&D. “My passion for chemistry was reinforced when I came to Ultradent because Dr. Fischer loves to dabble and play with formulas and chemicals. Yes, I always loved chemistry and math, but I originally wanted to go to school to be structural/civil engineer. After my experiences here, I changed my career path to chemistry, and the rest is history.”

When he’s not at Ultradent, Peter loves spending time with his wife of 21 years, his three children, and playing basketball with his son.

 
» Walker ShaLyse

Class I Restoration Using Peak Universal Bond & Ultra-Etch

 
» Walker ShaLyse

Whitening Myth Busters: Common Misconceptions About Teeth Whitening

This edition of Whitening MythBusters hits on some very important issues that seem to come up over and over when it comes to teeth whitening. Some of these include: Will whitening damage my teeth? Exactly how white can I get my teeth? How long will the whitening last? Will it hurt? What about post-whitening sensitivity? Is the chemical used in teeth whitening toxic? We’re here to help! Let’s get right to it.

Can Whitening Damage my Teeth?
There’s been a long-standing fear with potential teeth whitening patients that whitening could damage the teeth or the enamel through decalcification. The reality is that decalcification is caused by exposure to acidity, not peroxide. Furthermore, most professional, dental-supervised teeth whitening systems, like Opalescence, feature a nearly neutral PH—making it so the formula poses no risk for decalcification or damaging of the enamel of healthy teeth. As addressed in a previous “Whitening MythBusters” post, Ultradent has chosen to include the ingredient, PF (potassium nitrate and fluoride), in all of its whitening gels to help protect the patient from sensitivity.

Exactly How White Can I Get My Teeth, and How Long Will it Last?
This can be somewhat of a tricky question, as many factors come into play that determine just how white a patient can get their teeth, and how long those results will last. Here’s what Dr. Fischer says: “Everyone is different and it’s important that we never promise a patient that they’ll arrive at a certain shade. What we do tell them is that we’ll most likely achieve a significant level of whitening, and we have found that they’re usually thrilled with the results.” The amount of coffee or wine one drinks, the frequency of consumption of acidic tomato sauces and other acidic foods, certainly, smoking, hygiene, and even genetics come into play when it comes to the ultimate shade of white each individual patient can achieve. Those factors also influence the longevity of the results, and how often the patient will need to touch up. However, like Dr. Fischer says, most patients experience significant whitening from their original shade and leave the dental office thrilled with their results!

Will Whitening My Teeth Hurt? What About Post-Whitening Sensitivity?
Just as the level of achieved whiteness varies from patient to patient due to a number of factors, such is also the case when it comes to sensitivity. One patient might experience little to no sensitivity while whitening, while another might have to take the process much slower, and whiten at a lower concentration to reduce sensitivity. However, there are things that can be done to make the whitening process the most comfortable for the patient as possible.
One of the leading causes of sensitivity during and after whitening is tooth dehydration. Of Opalescence, Dr. Fischer says, “We stubbornly have kept significant water in the Opalescence formula when others were going anhydrous in order to achieve a longer shelf life and to eliminate the need to refrigerate the product. But, it’s kinder to the patient to not overly dehydrate the teeth. Additionally, we’ve put so much research into the subject of sensitivity. When other products were saying they had zero sensitivity, we never said that because there’s no such thing as zero sensitivity. What we did do is we spent a lot of time studying human tooth sensitivity, and we zeroed in on a patented formula that contains minimal potassium nitrate and fluoride—just tenths of a percent, to optimize minimal sensitivity from a thermal standpoint and also in regards to gingival tissues. Thus, the Opalescence formulas are specifically designed to address those issues for the patient during the whitening process.”
Last, another important way to minimize sensitive during the whitening process is to consult with a dentist prior to beginning the bleaching process. That way, the clinician can determine if the patient’s teeth are healthy enough to whiten, and assess or remedy any roadblocks the patient might experience, such as microabrasions, gum health, etc. Upon examining the patient’s teeth, the clinician can then recommend a safe and professional whitening system, which the patient will then undergo under their supervision.

Is The Chemical Used in Teeth Whitening Toxic?
Opalescence whitening products are made up of materials commonly found in or readily disposed of by the body, such as hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide—a combination of hydrogen peroxide with the addition of urea, which stabilizing the peroxide, allowing for slower release and longer wear-time of the whitening. Under proper dentist supervision and proper adherence to the product’s instructions, Opalescence teeth whitening products are not toxic.

1. Basting RT, Rodrigues AL Jr, Serra MC. The effects of seven carbamide peroxide bleaching agents on enamel microhardness over time. J Am Dent Assoc. 2003;134(10):1335-42.
2. Al-Qunaian TA. The effect of whitening agents on caries susceptibility of human enamel. Oper Dent. 2005;30(2):265-70.
3. Clark LM, Barghi N, Summitt JB, Amaechi BT. Influence of fluoridated carbamide peroxide bleaching gel on enamel demineralization. J Dent Res 85(Spec Iss A): 0497, 2006 (www.dentalresarch.org).
4. Amaechi BT, Clark LM, Barghi N, Summitt JB. Enamel fluoride uptake from fluoridated carbamide peroxide bleaching gel. J Dent Res 85(Spec Iss A): 0498, 2006 (www.dentalresarch.org).
5. Browning WD, Myers M, Downey M, Pohjola RM, Brackett WW. Report on low sensitivity whiteners. J Dent Res 85(Spec Iss A): 1650, 2006 (www.dentalresearch.org).

 
» Walker ShaLyse

A Whitening Solution for Non-Vital Teeth: Opalescence Endo

“Walking bleach,” or endodontic whitening, provides a whitening solution for the many patients with one or more non-vital teeth. Non-vital teeth often appear darker than the rest of a patient’s smile due to internal bleeding caused by trauma, the presence of necrotic debris, or pigmentation as a result of previously used endodontic treatment materials. Thus, unlike most whitening cases where discoloration is caused by external staining to vital teeth (usually due to smoking, eating, and/or drinking habits,) as the pre-fix “endo” suggests, endodontic whitening, or walking bleach, is used when discoloration comes from the inside out.

Although different than traditional whitening, endodontic whitening remains a relatively simple procedure—most often completed in four steps. First, the clinician opens the pulp cavity of the patient’s non-vital tooth, removing any previously placed restoration materials as well as the cervical barrier, as they may obstruct the whitening process. Next, the clinician places the endodontic whitening material, such as Opalescence® Endo—a specially formulated 35% hydrogen peroxide whitening gel—into the pulp chamber and closes it with a temporary cement, leaving the whitening product to perform its function. After three to five days time, clinician will then assess the color of the patient’s tooth to determine if it has reached the desired shade. Then, the endodontic or “walking bleach” is removed, and the procedure is complete. If the patient or clinician believes a lighter shade can be achieved, the procedure may be repeated.

Opalescence Endo Before and After Case

Here are some of the questions most commonly asked by clinicians in regards to “walking bleach.”

Question: What is the correct depth of application of the bleach within the pulp cavity?
Answer: Opalescence Endo should always be applied above the bone crest and below the clinical crown of the tooth, leaving a 2.0mm protective margin.

Question: Due to shade regression over time, should I aim to whiten the non-vital tooth to a slightly lighter shade than desired?
Answer: Yes. It is recommended that the clinician leaves the bleach in the tooth until a slightly lighter than the target shade is achieved, as the tooth shade often regresses slightly upon removal of the bleach.

Question: Like other Opalescence® whitening products, should I refrigerate Opalescence Endo?
Answer: Yes, Opalescence Endo must be stored between 35.6°F and 46.4°F.

To learn more or to purchase Opalescence Endo, please call 800.552.5512 or visit ultradent.com.

 
» Dan Fischer

Ultrapak: How the Best Retraction Cord on the Market Has Only Gotten Better

In the early years of my career, the advent of braided retraction cords were a big improvement over the twisted cords of the past, although despite the improvement, I often found that these “new and improved” cords could still be too rigid. This, due to the fact that 99% of the component of the fiber in braided cords runs close to parallel to the long access of the cord—making it so that pushing down on one end of the cord caused the length of the cord behind that area to rise.

Upon encountering this problem over and over, I knew there had to be a better way. That’s when I began to study the concept of a knitted, not braided, cord. The more I researched, the more a knitted cord made perfect sense to me because a knit is more like a chain, or a series of interlocking loops. This unique pattern allows the knit to flex and bend, and of course, when pressed down in one section, it doesn’t cause the rest of the chain to rise. This comes especially in handy when it comes to pressing the cord into the sulcus, as the knitted make up of the cord allows it to conform to the sulcus’ shape.

Some might argue that a knit, because it is less dense, is too loose and airy for such a procedure—a challenge that is easily solved by using a selecting a larger cord that compresses tightly when pressed into the sulcus. Additionally, a side benefit to the less dense structure of a knit when compared to a twisted or braided cord, is that the loops in the knit tend to bite gently into the tissues when pressed against them, which keeps in place nicely when using a high-speed bur—preventing it from entangling with the instrument which would cause it to come whipping out.

I’m often asked about how we got the knit of the cord to be so small. The answer is that it was simply a process of continuous improvement, as we like to say here at Ultradent. When looking to create such a tiny knit, we discovered that using the same needles used for knitting pantyhose did the job! I’m proud to say that Ultradent was the first dental company to create, use, and sell a knitted packing cord; and, thanks to its patent, it remained the only one to offer such a cord for many years!

However, despite no longer holding the position as the only dental company to offer a knitted cord, Ultradent continues to lead the way. We still offer the tiniest knit available on the market, and, when examined, the Ultrapak cord’s knit shape is consistent, open, and cylindrical. Also, we’ve continued to offer smaller and smaller sizes. The first editions of the Ultrapak cord came in sizes 0–3, and are now offered in as small as a size 000, thanks to the dedicated work of so many professionals on our Ultradent team who are committed to the concept of “continuous improvement.”

 
» Walker ShaLyse

Uncovering a Confident Smile: An Opalustre Story

“You know, I wasn’t very concerned about my teeth. I knew I had spots on my teeth, but it never bothered me until I started teaching preschool and some of the kids would say, ‘Hey! You didn’t brush your teeth today!” says Michelle Webb.

Michelle Webb

“I had asked a dentist about getting rid of the spots before, and he mentioned porcelain veneers, but I wasn’t interested in having something glued to my teeth,” she continues, regarding the invasive and often expensive procedure.

“I didn’t know there was anything I could do to remove the spots from my teeth, so when I found out about this Opalustre treatment, it was really enticing to me,” Webb recalls with a smile.

Opalustre, a chemical and mechanical abrasion slurry, removes the white, brown, and/or multi-colored defects or decalcifications that occur on many people’s teeth. This is often caused by fluorosis—the mottling of tooth enamel caused by exposure to excessive fluoride during childhood. Often times, the white spots caused by fluorosis darken and become more noticeable over time.

To remove such discolorations, clinicians can apply Opalustre to the surface of the teeth and buff away discoloration, reapplying as necessary to achieve the desired uniform tooth color.

Opalustre Process

“I was surprised at how easy it was. It wasn’t painful, and the results were amazing!” Webb says with a smile. “In fact, my husband posted my before and after photos on Facebook and my cousin saw them and was amazed that something like that could be done. He immediately wanted to know where he could have it done too.”

Michelle Webb's Before & After's

Dr. Jaimee Morgan, an esthetic dentist who uses Opalustre in her office says, “Opalustre really helps ramp up the whitening process. A lot of my patients have beautiful white teeth, but can’t get the white or brown spots to blend with the rest of the enamel. I usually have them whiten first, then, I do an Opalustre treatment. If they’re coming for an in-office whitening treatment, I’ll have the Opalustre right there and ready to use to help give them the shiny, white smile they’re looking for.”

Whitening Products can be used before or after Opalustre.

Clinicians can also whiten their patient’s teeth after using Opalustre, depending on preference. Either way, this life-changing, non-invasive, and economical alternative to porcelain veneers changed Michelle Webb’s life, uncovering a confident smile she’d never experienced.

For more information on Opalustre, please visit ultradent.com, or call us at 800.552.5512.

 
» Walker ShaLyse

Loyalty, Hard Work, and Enthusiasm: Pamela Huelsmann

Walking the halls of Ultradent, or even visiting our offices abroad, it’s not rare to encounter people who are celebrating their fifth, tenth, twentieth, thirtieth (and beyond) anniversaries with the company. Ultradent inspires incredible loyalty with those who join the team, and Pamela Huelsmann is no exception. Having been with Ultradent for ten-and-a-half years now, Pamela works as a sales assistant covering Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

Of Pamela’s plethora of responsibilities in covering such a vast area in the European continent, some of her favorite aspects of her job include organizing event and trade shows such as the upcoming IDS Show, which will take place this coming March in Cologne, Germany. Occurring every other year, this particular trade online casino show is one of the world’s largest, with doctors and professionals travelling from all over the world to share ideas, products, and take part in continuing education. Pamela’s involvement in IDS is extensive, as she spends months prior to the show preparing for the five-day event.

Over the past month, Pamela also says she’s worked extensively in the organization and coordination in numerous in-office transitions and policies that have required a tremendous amount of support—which Pamela gives with a smile.

Of Ultradent’s products, Pamela speaks most enthusiastically about Opalescence Go®. She says, “I love to explain how easy it is and to demonstrate to our customers the stunning results they can get with it. Additionally, we have the most comfortable prefilled tray ever—the UltraFitTM tray!” Indeed, the excitement of Opalescence Go has spread like wildfire beyond our U.S. borders, with people from all over the world embracing it and enthusiastic about its incredible results.

When Pamela isn’t travelling between Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and Belgium, she enjoys renovating and restoring old things. In fact, she recently purchased a home built over a hundred years ago, and is now in the throes of restoring it to its prime, with a few modern elements sprinkled throughout.

In addition to remodeling and renovating her home, Pamela loves to travel with family and friends, and recently returned home from a holiday in Mexico, of which she said, “It was amazing to see more of our big world.”