basic faq guide to dental instruments and products

Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to common questions about 3M dental care products.

1. Material and Product Information

1.1 3M™ Single Bond Universal Adhesive

1.2. 3M™ Filtek™ One Bulk Fill Restorative

  • What is the contrast ratio and opacity of Filtek One Bulk Fill Restorative?
    Contrast ratio is the actual measurement of a material that tells us how opaque or translucent a material is. The higher the contrast ratio, the higher the opacity. Filtek One Bulk Fill Restorative has an average contrast ratio of 51 for its five shades. This high opacity makes it in the range of many traditional universal composites, allowing it to be potentially used for both posterior and anterior restorations.
  • A material that’s too translucent may appear grayish or allow stains to show through, especially for large posterior restorations and restorations with underlying stains. Therefore, a material with higher opacity is beneficial to provide better esthetics.
  • Filtek One Bulk Fill Restorative contains two novel methacrylate monomers that, in combination, act to lower polymerization stress.

    One monomer, a high-molecular-weight aromatic dimethacrylate (AUDMA) decreases the number of reactive groups in the resin. This helpsto moderate the volumetric shrinkage as well as the stiffness of the developing and final polymer matrix—both of which contribute to the development of polymerization stress.

    The second unique methacrylate represents a class of compounds called addition fragmentation monomers (AFM). During polymerization, AFM reacts into the developing polymer, forming cross-links between adjacent polymer chains. AFM contains a third reactive site that may cleave through a fragmentation process during polymerization. This process provides a mechanism for the relaxation of the developing network and subsequent stress relief. The fragments still retain the capability to react with each other or with other reactive sites of the developing polymer, making stress relief possible while maintaining the physical properties of the polymer.
  • polymerization shrinkage is simply the decrease in volume of the composite as it shrinks due to the curing process.

    Polymerization stress is a measurement of the impact on the interface of the composite, adhesive and tooth as a result of the composite shrinking upon curing. It is determined via a cusp deflection methodology and is more indicative of the actual clinical placement concerns.
  • Yes. The filler system uses the same nanofiller technology as Filtek Supreme restoratives—a combination of silane-treated nanoclusters and individual silane-treated nanosilica and nanozirconia. In addition, it contains nano-scale ytterbium trifluoride to impart improved radiopacity.
  • Polymerization shrinkage stress can contribute to adhesive failure between the tooth and composite, resulting in post-operative sensitivity, marginal leakage and marginal discolouration.

    If the bond does not fail, polymerization stress may cause fracture of the enamel adjacent to the cavosurface, which may contribute to marginal ditching over time. Polymerization stress may also cause an in-ward deflection of the cusps in Class II restorations.
  • Filtek One Bulk Fill Restorative and 3M™ Filtek™ Bulk Fill Posterior Restorative are more radiopaque than our other composite materials. We achieve this high level of radiopacity by incorporating nano ytterbium trifluoride.
  • Filtek One Bulk Fill Restorative is a more aesthetic version of Filtek Bulk Fill Posterior Restorative, designed to provide more opacity while still retaining all the excellent product performance features of the latter (delivery, handling, adaptation, depth of cure and physical properties).
  • Yes, Filtek One Bulk Fill Restorative was designed to ensure that it provided the same type of features, indications and properties as Filtek Bulk Fill Posterior Restorative. Therefore, it can be a direct replacement.
  • The primary benefit is the significantly simplified and faster one-step placement for Class I and Class II restorations. Additionally, an in-vitro simulated operatory study has shown that there are significantly less proximal margin defects in Class II restorations when using Filtek One Bulk Fill Restorative compared to incrementally placed universal composites.

1.3. 3M™ Filtek™ Z350XT Flowable Restorative

1.4. 3M™ Clinpro™ White Varnish

  • What advantages does Clinpro White Varnish offer over other fluoride varnishes?
    Clinpro White Varnish contains 22,600 ppm fluoride and an innovative tri-calcium phosphate ingredient, available exclusively from 3M ESPE. The tri-calcium phosphate in Clinpro White Varnish is milled with fumaric acid during manufacturing. This creates a protective layer around the calcium to keep it separate from the fluoride in the varnish. After Clinpro White Varnish is applied to the tooth surface, the rosin slowly dissolves and releases fluoride, calcium and phosphorus ions into the saliva. Fluoride and calcium react to form calcium fluoride which aids in sensitivity reduction.

    Clinpro White Varnish adheres to teeth and also migrates to additional tooth surfaces. The varnish contains a modified rosin in an alcohol-based solution that allows Clinpro White Varnish to adhere to teeth to which it has been applied, but also to migrate to additional tooth surfaces, including spaces that may be difficult to reach.

    Clinpro White Varnish is virtually invisible on the tooth. The product is white in color when applied to the tooth. 95% of subjects rated the appearance of Clinpro White Varnish to be acceptable.

    Clinpro White Varnish can be applied to moist tooth surfaces. Saliva activates the varnish, forming a lacquer-like coating on the tooth surface. This coating adheres to the tooth surface to which it was applied, but also migrates to additional tooth surfaces.

1.5. 3M™ Elipar™ DeepCure LED Curing Lights

  • How is the collimated and homogeneous beam in Elipar DeepCure LED Curing Lights realised?
    The geometrically optimized combination of the three elements leads to the collimated and homogeneous beam profile:

    • LED
    • lens and
    • diamond-turned reflector

    Each component is specially designed to work well in combination with the other involved components, and the combination of all elements leads to improved technical performance.
  • OPTICS The optics have been changed significantly (added lens, changed reflector geometry, additional reflective element between lens and light guide) to achieve a homogeneous and collimated beam. This leads to a more efficient usage of battery, resulting in a longer runtime.

    POWER OUTPUT The Elipar DeepCure LED Curing Lights have a higher output of 1470 mW/cm2 (-10%/+20%), compared to the output of its predecessors Elipar S10 LED Curing Light and Elipar LED Curing Light, at 1200 mW/cm (-10%/+20%).

    LIGHT GUIDE Optimized light guide tip angle and tip height significantly reduces the opening angle required to reach a posterior restoration. This results in improved patient comfort and easier handling for the operator. Its black coating reduces stray light and prevents glare.

    CHARGING BASE The top part of the housing is made of a new material which makes it more resistant against disinfecting agents. A new design and print makes the available functions more visible to the operator.
  • The use of the latest LED generation in combination with the newly developed, highly effective optics allows higher efficacy and a longer runtime, despite a higher energy output.
  • PA 6 (Polyamide 6), per definition is a very robust material, resistant against disinfectants and shatter-proof.
  • The issue with poly wavelength systems is that the beam profile is very inhomogeneous, leading to inconsistent/hard-to-predict curing results. We decided to use a single wavelength LED, as this delivers more consistent/predictable curing results even for materials using other photoinitiators e.g., Tetric EvoCeram Bulk Fill from Ivoclar Vivadent.

    For more details, refer to the Clinical Performance section in our Technical Data Sheet.

2. Recommendations

  • What dental products are recommended for direct restorative procedures?
    3M has developed a complete solution of dental products and materials for promoting efficiency and outstanding patient outcomes in every step of the direct restorative procedure.

    Key products in the list include:
    • For bonding: Single Bond Universal Adhesive
    • For restoring/filling: Filtek™ Z350XT Universal Restorative, Filtek™ Z350XT Flowable Restorative, Filtek™ One Bulk Fill Restorative
    • For light curing: Elipar™ DeepCure-L LED Curing Lights
    • For finishing/polishing: Sof-Lex™ Finishing and Polishing System
    • For preventive care: Clinpro™ White Varnish

    For more information, view the complete 3M Direct Restorative Workflow here.

3. Product Usage Tips

3.1. Single Bond Universal Adhesive

3.2. Filtek™ Z350XT Universal Restorative

3.3. Clinpro™ White Varnish

3.4. Elipar™ DeepCure LED Curing Lights

  • Can I reduce the curing time with the new curing lights?
    Research has shown that shorter curing times may lead to very inconsistent results. That’s why we always recommend using the curing times given by the manufacturer of the material.
  • Research has shown that shorter curing times may lead to very inconsistent results. That’s why we always recommend using the curing times given by the manufacturer of the material.
  • All high-intensity curing lights (over 1100 mW/cm2) cause a certain amount of heat.

    In the past, numerous in vivo studies have reported different results for the temperature at which thermal damage is initiated. This indicates that the range of safe temperatures in dental tissues, particularly in the dental pulp, is not known.

    To address concerns of potential thermal irritation of the pulp, apply these two heat management techniques:
    1. Cure with external cooling from an air flow.
    2. Cure at intermittent intervals (e.g., 2 exposures lasting 10 seconds each instead of 1 exposure lasting 20 seconds)
  • We do not recommend this test method as a fingernail or the back of a hand does not have the same properties or thickness as a tooth.
  • A very short initial cure at some point of the processing before the final curing. Examples of use include the excess removal of light curing cements or the pre-cure step of 3M™ Protemp™ Crown Temporization Material.

    With its unique tack-cure function, Elipar DeepCure LED Curing Lights produce a reproducible short light pulse by simply keeping the start button pressed. The tack cure function makes excess removal of light curing cements easier and more predictable.
  • Yes. Elipar DeepCure LED Curing Lights offer a switch-off function for the beeps.

    Here are the steps to switch it off:
    1. Put the handpiece in sleep mode, e.g., by setting it in the charger.
    2.Take the device from the charger. Press first the TIME button, then the START button.

    The beeps are now switched off. They can be reactivated by following the same procedure.
  • Elipar DeepCure LED Curing Lights have no vents that might be blocked by a barrier sleeve. Therefore, they can be used with a barrier sleeve (not offered by 3M ESPE Dental). Make sure the sleeve is not covering the tip of the light guide, as this would diminish the intensity. Furthermore, the sleeve should be removed before placing the light guide in the charger to make sure the pins in the charger are contacting the battery properly.

4. Product Care

4.1. Single Bond Universal Adhesive

4.2. Elipar™ DeepCure LED Curing Lights

5. Repair and Replacement Parts

5.1. Elipar™ DeepCure LED Curing Lights

6. Where to Buy