When performing a root canal procedure, it’s imperative that after instrumentation, the clinician cleanses and disinfects the canal thoroughly with endodontic irrigants—even where instruments can’t reach. However, this can prove tricky, as irrigants must reach where they are needed without expressing beyond the bounds of the canal—breaking through apical tissues, potentially damaging healthy tissue.
Dr. Dan Fischer says, “The basic concept of irrigation in endodontics is to get the smallest cannula down close to the apex, but shy of the foramen, and to irrigate from the bottom up. It is imperative to start from the bottom to prohibit trapping air in the canal—it is very difficult to displace an air bubble when you’re filling the canal from the top down. However, the deeper the canal, the more difficult it is to get the cannula down to the apical region of the tooth.”
Moreover, root canals often have curves with sharp turns that make navigating the cannula to the apical region difficult—which is where Ultradent’s Navitip® tips’ flex tip technology exceeds the ability of other endodontic tips on the market.
Unlike traditional endodontic tips, the cannula of each Navitip Tip is slightly rigid through the base and center, but flexible at the tip to allow it to bend and snake through each canal. Additionally, the end of the each Navitip Tip is smoothed and rounded to allow the tip to slide past corners rather than scraping and potentially ledging as they proceed through the canal. This gives precise, controlled delivery of any irrigant, intracanal medication, and sealing to exactly where it is needed. Each Navitip Tip also features patented Lok-Tite™ technology which feature double threads with press-fit technology to prevent the tip from popping off, and wings for easy attachment and removal. Lastly, every Navitip Tip is fitted with a tight-fitting rubber stop, allowing for precise measurement to facilitate accurate delivery while further preventing risk of extrusion through apical tissue.
To further prevent risk of extrusion, Navitip Tips offer Sideport Tips, which allow irrigants to be delivered through non-clogging dual sideports (which are offset from each other vertically as well as laterally). The tip of the cannula on each Sideport Tip features a flexible end that is capped and rounded for safety in the apical third. Available in a variety of sizes, the Navitip Sideport’s smallest tip, measuring in at 31ga, is one of dentistry’s thinnest cannula, allowing clinicians to easily navigate even the most intricate canal spaces.
Ultradent also offers Navitip FX® tips—endodontic brushes that are designed to clean, scrub, and irrigate the canal simultaneously. This tip is able to reach the apical third and deliver the irrigant while the brush, at the same time, scrubs the canal wall, dislodging debris. In conjunction with EDTA, the brush works to remove the smear layer, including smear plugs.
In the age of irrigation, Ultradent’s Navitip Tips offer safety, accuracy, and a variety of delivery options for every root canal procedure, start to finish.
To learn more about Navitip Tips, call 800-552-5512 or visit ultradent.com.
“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”—Theodore Roosevelt
For many people throughout the world, the beginning of November marks the beginning of the holiday season—beginning with Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa (and any other way one chooses to celebrate the season), and ending with the ringing in of the New Year. Regardless of religion, I would say the marking characteristic of this season is care—care for our fellow man. Care also happens to be one of Ultradent’s five Core Values that we’ve chosen to uphold above all else here in the workplace. Seeing that it is the beginning of another joyous holiday season, I find it the perfect time to take a deeper look into the Core Value Care that we hold so dear.
For the past ten years at Ultradent, our people have come together in tremendous and caring ways to raise both food and money not only for the Utah Food Bank, but to provide financial aid to many important and pressing causes throughout the world. In 2013, we decided as a company to donate half of the funds raised during our annual food drive to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, through AmeriCares. I watched with great pride as the people of this company, with spirit and enthusiasm, raised money and food during our annual drive. Ultradent also supports numerous other humanitarian causes and missions both at home and abroad by donating funds, dental supplies, and the like to organizations seeking to help improve the quality of life of others—be it through dental care or other important and worthy means.
Additionally, let us not forget, we here at Ultradent are in the healthcare profession. It would certainly be far from appropriate if we were making healthcare products without the highest level of care, from the person working in R&D and formulations, to our sales force, to the people in shipping, and so on and so forth. Our products end up in patients’ mouths, and that should always be front and center in our minds. Would we want this product in the mouth of our daughter or son? Are we giving the level of care that we would be pleased to see used on a family member, or even ourselves? Care is critical, from the beginning to the end of the chain when it comes to the products we make.
Last, as a practicing dentist, I often remind myself—just as I remind the many dentists I am privileged to come in contact with throughout my yearly lectures—that caring is listening to the needs of those we serve. They light up our lives, these humans we call patients, and our success as clinicians and care providers relies on how well we listen and show them that we care.
I had the opportunity to perform a full-mouth reconstruction on the world-famous figure skater and two-time Olympic gold medalist and icon, Oleg Protopopov. Upon assessing his age and complexion, I urged Mr. Protopopov to go with an A3 composite shade. However, upon looking at the shade guide, Oleg went immediately to the lightest shade, and excitedly declared, “I want A1!”
I tried to talk him out of it, saying “Oh Oleg, trust me. It wouldn’t look natural. They taught me in dental school that I shouldn’t make them too light. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about.”
Oleg was unrelenting, but I finally got him to compromise on an A2 shade, upon which I went ahead and made a full set of crowns. It was only after the A2 crowns were made that I had an important epiphany. I had screwed up. Oleg Protopopov grew up behind the Iron Curtain, where athletes were their celebrities, and he and Ludmila, his wife and skating partner, were the biggest that the Soviet Union had ever seen! I realized then and there that Oleg, as a performer and a star, had always wanted A1s. I immediately destroyed the finished A2 crowns and made a whole new set of A1s, with which Oleg was thrilled. This was a huge lesson for me in listening to the needs of those we serve.
I often say that care is the majority of the meaning of love. If you subtract care from love, love ceases to be love. You have to care in major ways to love in major ways. Let’s remember to care, and in turn, love in major ways as we enter this joyous holiday season.
These days, strategic, pin-pointed, and successful practice management has become as high a priority as providing quality, top-of-line patient care. That means making every second count without cutting any corners. Ultradent’s multi-award-winning curing light, VALO®, with its powerful 3-second cure feature, take both patient care and super-keen practice management to new heights, and has the numbers to prove it.
In a recent interview, Dr. Gordon Christensen estimated that a typical dental practice can save over $26,000 per year by switching from a low-intensity light to a high-intensity light like VALO. $26,000!1
VALO can provide a complete, uniform cure in just three short seconds via its Xtra Power mode, in contrast to traditional curing lights which require a minimum 10–20 second curing time, on average. However, in addition to VALO’s 3-second cure feature, VALO also offers Standard Power mode—a 10-second cure that provides 1000mW/cm2, and a 4-second, High Power curing mode which provides 1400mW/cm2 for tacking.
How is it that VALO is able to deliver so much power in so little time?
First, the VALO’s low profile head allows for easy and direct access to any restoration site, even in smaller mouths. And direct access means that the light can reach all aspects of the preparation, so you know that you are getting a uniform cure with ample energy.
VALO’s optimally collimated beam ensures that VALO maintains its power density and cures uniformly over a range of surfaces and working distances. In fact, VALO delivers the energy needed to polymerize any resin up to 10 mm from the restoration site. This unparalleled accessibility, combined with VALO’s powerful curing options (standard power for a 10-second cure, high power for a 8-second cure, and Xtra power for a 3-second cure), allows for maximum efficiency and power combined—which contributes greatly to the practice savings Dr. Christensen mentioned, without compromising on the quality of the cure.
Even if the clinician chooses to cure a restoration using standard power mode, VALO’s unique, intensely collimated beam allows for 65% of the energy of the light to reach the preparation from 10 mm away. Compare this with similar lights on the market that, on average, deliver only 25% of the light energy to the preparation when measured at the same distance. With its collimated beam, VALO promises a high-quality result, regardless of curing mode.2
VALO is also designed to give a complete cure, no matter the proprietary material used in the composite. Dr. John Flucke had this to say about Ultradent’s award-winning curing light: “VALO is one of the few curing devices on the market that is ‘broadband,’ meaning that it sets all light-activated materials. Many curing lights have a range of 450–470 nanometers, which is fine for camphorquinone but not for other proprietary photoinitiators. The VALO provides light in the spectrum of 395–480 nanometers, which allows it to cure all materials.”
Another way that investing in VALO can save clinicians valuable dollars is thanks to its virtual indestructibility—allowing the clinician to use it year after year without the need for a replacement, unlike so many other fragile and easily breakable lights on the market today.
Dr. Flucke says, “VALO is milled out of a solid piece of aerospace-grade aluminum. It is designed to withstand the rigors of day-to-day use, including being dropped. Despite our best efforts, we’ve never managed to break one!” He continues, “The cordless unit also uses batteries that are nonproprietary. This means you can buy new batteries in lots of places. It also comes with a separate charger and a spare set of batteries so that you are never without a charge.”
Dr. Gordon Christensen and Dr. John Flucke seem to agree: VALO makes good business sense for a dental practice. Investing in VALO saves valuable dollars ($26,000 of them!). Who knew that three seconds could be worth so much?
1 Ask Dr. Christensen. Dental Economics. Retrieved Dec. 6, 2013. http://www.dentaleconomics.com/articles/print/ volume-99/issue-9/departments/ask-dr-christensen/ask-dr-christensen.html
Here’s a little something to remind you to share a smile with someone. Have a great Tuesday.
“While placing the UltraSeal XT hydro, you can literally see the sealant going into the pits and fissures! Day and night difference (from other sealants), and the use of the little light is a fun way to show the kids and parents and be able to check retention at their six-month appointments.” -Stephanie Vieau, Dental Assistant, Centreville, Virginia
Choosing the right dental sealant and placing it properly can prove to be quite the challenge. So many sealants on the market fail to follow through on their promises-often peeling at the margins, popping off the tooth, and failing to prevent microleakage over time.
The right sealant should act as a protective barrier to the teeth, sealing out bacteria and food, which in turn, prevents cavities. Most often recommended for placement on children, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) says, “sealant placement in children and adolescents has shown a reduction of cavities’ incidence by 86% after one year and 58% after four years.” Furthermore, the AAPD also states, “Most cavities in children occur in places that sealants could have protected. Pit and fissure decay accounts for 80 to 90% of cavities in permanent back teeth and 44% in baby teeth.”1
Ultradent’s UltraSeal XT hydro is a light-cured, radiopaque, fluoride-releasing composite sealant with a hydrophilic chemistry and advanced adhesive technology, ensuring the sealants’ longevity. It is stronger and more wear-resistant because it is a 53%-filled resin and features less polymerization shrinkage than competitive products. When applied with Ultradent’s Inspiral® Brush tip, the tip causes shear thinning of the filled, thixotropic sealant, reducing its viscosity as it is placed. The resin stops flowing when shear thinning ceases and placement is complete, preventing it from running before it can be cured. UltraSeal XT hydro’s hydrophilic chemistry and characteristic thixotropic natures chases moisture (that in hydrophobic sealants can cause sealant failure) deep into the pits and fissures on a microscopic level. Once there, the advanced technology securely bonds the sealant to the enamel, increasing marginal retention and reducing microleakage.
To apply UltraSeal XT hydro, follow the steps below:
After placing the sealant, it is often difficult to check margins and retention. UltraSeal XT hydro addresses that difficulty with added fluorescent properties, making the sealant fully viewable under black light. This way, dental staff can check the integrity of the sealant at the time of placement and at subsequent visits, allowing them to literally see the retention.
Here at Ultradent, our first leading core value is Integrity. We chose it very carefully. However, what many of you may not know is that before it was Integrity, it was Honesty.
We changed that original core value from honesty to integrity because over the years at Ultradent, we’d seen many lovely, honest people that sadly, too often, didn’t also have courage to accompany that honesty. I believe that honesty plus courage equals human integrity. That’s where the two come together, and that’s why ultimately we chose Integrity over Honesty.
Just recently, I heard about a situation where an employee had the courage to stand up to her manager, who was operating well outside of the core values. Now, that took a lot of integrity for her to do that, but because of her honesty and courage, it enabled us to make a correction that improved the lives of many other employees, and that got us back on better footing toward guiding the ship to where it needed to be.
It takes integrity to maintain the quality of our products, and it takes integrity to maintain the quality of life in the workplace. I certainly harp a lot on the importance of happiness in the workplace, but it takes everyone working together and having the integrity (honesty and courage) to stand up to anyone who may be overstepping their bounds to hurt that quality of life—be it through bullying, sexual harassment, gossip, etc.
Also, for all employees, it’s incredibly important that people feel supported when they stand up to someone who may be operating outside the bounds of integrity . Providing that support to your coworkers takes integrity, too.
I can’t say it enough: integrity in the workplace is major. It affects the type of product we’re able to produce, and it greatly impacts our corporate identity. Even out in the field, we’ve had a few experiences where we had to stop doing business with offices who treated our reps unkindly or disrespectfully. There are some things that are more important in life than money. This is one of them. Integrity is paramount.
“The oral cavity is the gateway to health and/or disease, and the more we learn about dental hygiene, the more we learn about how it can affect the overall health of the rest of our bodies,” says Dr. Dan Fischer, president and CEO of Ultradent Products, Inc. He continues, “The hygienist is the front and center of that aspect of dentistry. It’s all about education and personal care.”
As we celebrate National Dental Hygiene Awareness Month, it’s important that we recognize the vital role hygienists play in the dental field, both to the dentist and to the patients they treat. Dental hygienists play a vital collaborative and auxiliary role in dentistry to ensure patients receive the highest and most comprehensive and efficient level of oral health care. They do this through the administration of preventative care such as prophylaxis (tooth cleaning), x-ray administration and interpretation, non-surgical periodontal therapy such as scaling and root planing, application of preventative materials (sealants and fluoride), and more. They serve as dentistry’s most important defensive guards by providing essential care and hygiene knowledge to set the patient up for long-term oral health—like this month’s focus on the dental hygiene daily four. They are also often the first person on the dental team to interface with and treat the patient.
At Ultradent, dental hygienists play an important role as well, as Ultradent employs a full-time in-house clinical dental hygienist, Carol Jent, and many other hygienists who work as representatives out in the field. “Carol Jent brings a fabulous dimension to the company. She’s one of the most caring hygienists out there—from her humanitarian work both locally and abroad to the passion and expertise she brings to her work, she is exemplary in every way.” He adds, “I always love bumping into the many hygienists that work as Ultradent reps. They have an unparalleled knowledge base that allows them to interact with clinicians and other hygienists on another level. They have unique insights that are wonderful for communicating how our products work, and for recommending the right products to offices for various situations.”
To all the hygienists out there, both in and outside Ultradent, we thank you for your knowledge, hard work, care, and most importantly, patience (especially when we don’t floss as much as you’d like us to!). We celebrate you!
On September 26, 2015, Ultradent’s very own Olga Klar (international regional manager over North Eastern Europe) was inducted into the University of South Alabama (USA) Athletic Hall of Fame for her accomplishments in track and field during her time at the university, and for her exceptional academic achievements as a student athlete. “My main event was the 100-meter hurdles, but I also did the long jump, javelin, shot put, and the heptathlon,” she says.
During her time at USA, Olga was made an 1999 Academic All-American, and led the university’s track and field team to their first-ever championship win at the 1999 Sun Belt Conference. She was also named the team’s 1999 “Outstanding Meet Performer and Top Scorer” overall and was the first female at USA history to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor T&F Championship. She ended her career with the Sun Belt Conference record in the 100-meter hurdles.
Growing up in the Czech Republic, Olga says playing hide-and-seek with the boys fostered her love for athletics. “I learned to run because I wanted to be the fastest so no one would see me or catch me,” she remembers with a smile.
She later went on to attend a special athletic high school, where she became the Czech Republic’s national champion for hurdles. After her national championship win, her coach, an American, told her that he believed she could get a full-ride scholarship to a number of U.S. universities, and with her permission, submitted her for consideration to several schools. After receiving numerous full-ride scholarship offers, Olga says “My coach encouraged me to go to South Alabama because he said it had great weather where I could train year-around, and since it was a smaller school, he thought the teachers would be more helpful there, as I knew very little English at the time.” She continues, “Even though I knew nothing about the U.S., I said, ‘Okay, I’ll just go!’”
Arriving at the University of South Alabama, Olga excelled in English, and threw herself not only into track and field, but also into her studies, earning a 4.0 GPA for all four years at the university. However, despite her achievements, Olga says she was surprised to hear from the university this past year when they contacted her about inducting her into their Athletic Hall of Fame. “At first I thought it was a spam email!” she laughs. After realizing the email really came from USA, Olga says she decided to accept the honor, mostly, for her children. “I want them to see that with self-discipline—if you believe in yourself, and work hard, you can achieve things you would normally never be able to do.”
As a highly valued, top performer at Ultradent, the values Olga learned as an athlete continue to play into her daily life. “It’s an experience that serves you for a lifetime. It definitely taught me discipline and hard work. It also taught me that working long and hard for something pays off in the end. In fact, putting in extra hours, if I need to, never seems like a big to me—as that was the norm during my time on the track team.”
Accepting the award, she says, “I felt very emotional and proud because before, I just did everything automatically and without much thought—but going back to be inducted, I realized that it really was something special that maybe I hadn’t considered before. It made me feel very appreciated that someone recognized something that I did for the school.”
Alongside her on September 26th, the University of South Alabama also inducted legendary basketball coach Ronnie Arrow and Tonny Okello, who has since gone on to become a professional track and field athlete.
“’Think simple,’ as my old master used to say—meaning, reduce the whole of its parts into the simplest terms, getting back to first principles.” –Frank Lloyd Wright
It’s October, which means it’s National Dental Hygiene Month—a celebration of the many fabulous dental hygienists that we have here at Ultradent and throughout the world, but also, of the basic foundational tenets that together, give us the best shot at great oral health.
This month, hygienists, in conjunction with American Dental Hygienists Association, are teaming up to increase awareness on the importance of maintaining good dental hygiene, and the four essential principles that play into it.
Although simple, the Daily 4 serve as a great reminder and dental health checklist that everyone should complete before hitting the pillow each day. Are you doing the Daily 4? If not, now is a better time than ever to start! Here they are:
Brushing teeth twice daily is the foundation of good oral health. Both gum disease and tooth decay—the top two causes of tooth loss—can be prevented with proper brushing, because brushing helps to control populations of oral bacteria. Be sure to replace your toothbrush every few months and use a quality anti-cavity toothpaste.
No matter how thoroughly you brush, you cannot reach everywhere. In order to make sure the spaces between teeth and the pockets between teeth and gums get cleaned, you need to floss at least once per day. Be sure to use proper flossing technique to reach deep into those gum pockets, and avoid snapping floss against your gums as this could cause bleeding and irritation. Don’t be afraid to use plenty of floss—you want to use a clean section for every tooth space.
While some types of mouthwash mainly serve to put a pleasant scent on your breath, antimicrobial mouthwashes can make a big difference in your oral health. They kill the germs that cause gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. The American Dental Hygienists’ Association recommends rinsing once per day.
Chewing a piece of sugarless gum once a day is an excellent way to further protect against cavities. The chewing motion and the flavor of the gum stimulates production of saliva, which helps wash away both food debris and bacteria that could otherwise contribute to cavities. More saliva flow will also deliver more minerals to teeth to help strengthen and even rebuild tooth enamel.
Lastly, it’s never a bad idea to check your calendar and make sure you’re on schedule for your bi-annual dental cleaning/check-up. Happy National Dental Hygiene Month!