Earlier this year Pulpdent Corporation launched ACTIVA, a bioactive restorative and base/liner. The launch was big news: ACTIVA creates restorations that actively release and exchange calcium, phosphate, and fluoride ions while being dynamic with the function of the tooth, clearly setting it apart from other inert materials.
Above: Pulpdent product launch at the 2014 Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting
Pulpdent president Ken Berk summarized the company's excitement over the product this way: “ACTIVA isn't merely an incremental improvement over the status quo, it’s a true breakthrough that should, and we think will, change the future of dentistry.”
Larry Clark is the director of clinical affairs and marketing for Pulpdent. We asked him about the research and development of ACTIVA and the expected impact it will have on the dental products market.
DIQ: ACTIVA is a new product, but what kind of feedback have you had from dentists and patients who have used the product thus far (in trials, etc.)?
LC: The feedback has been too good to be true at times. We are very conservative but after hearing the same things for nearly two years we are quite enthusiastic. Most common comments include no sensitivity, no marginal staining, easy to use, looks great, and many applications for geriatric dentistry. Overcoming the fear of not having a bonding agent also comes up frequently as we explain the important difference between bond strength and the need to seal out bacteria.
DIQ: With so many choices, why should the general practitioner switch to using ACTIVA?
LC: ACTIVA has a story that goes beyond esthetics and not having metal/mercury. ACTIVA has the minerals the tooth wants and needs. ACTIVA has the physical properties and esthetics they expect from composite but without some of the weaknesses such as chipping and marginal leakage.
DIQ: How will ACTIVA change the way general practitioners deliver oral health care?
LC: ACTIVA restorative needs etching but does not require an adhesive except in NON-RETENTIVE preparations. The time savings, the lack of technique sensitivity, and the ease of use change the delivery of the product and the procedure. Most importantly, ACTIVA is active and dynamic in the oral environment versus the passivity of all other restorative materials
DIQ: ACTIVA is an entirely new kind of product. What were Pulpdent's motivations for investing in the research and development of ACTIVA?
LC: Pulpdent is a prime manufacturer of many dental products for many companies around the world. Research is primary to our success, especially when selling to other companies. We feel we only have two things to offer the dentist and the patient, trust and confidence. We are also very curious people and like to understand why things work and why they do not.
We feel if we are not the aspirin for someone's headache, then we are not purposed in what we are doing. We have wondered how to mimic the activity of a tooth and the function of the enamel and dentin for years. Our patented resins have created the opportunity to do things we never thought possible before.
DIQ: How long was ACTIVA in research and development?
LC: ACTIVA has been in development, research, and testing for almost four years. Clinical evaluation has been going on for the past two years around the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
DIQ: Is there anything else dentists and patients should know about ACTIVA?
It is back to the question, "Why did we do this?" For almost 100 years we have made restorative materials that are passive in the oral environment thinking we were being safe. The whole time we were missing the opportunity to work with what the body uses to keep itself healthy. Saliva has all the minerals the tooth needs for good health. ACTIVA has those minerals and can exchange them with both the tooth and the saliva over and over. We think this restores the true definition of restorative dentistry.
For more information on ACTIVA, visit http://www.activabioactive.com/ or download the white paper here.