Image courtesy of 3M
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Pearls for Your Practice: 3M Filtek Supreme Flowable Restorative

Oct. 1, 2020
Joshua Austin, DDS, MAGD, reviews 3M Filtek Supreme Flowable Restorative, which has recently been rereleased with a new delivery system that is ergonomic, simple to use, and eliminates bubbling.

Hey, remember the 1990s? What a great time. We had a balanced budget. It was a time of peace. Technology was developing all around us, but we weren’t yet totally inundated by constant connectivity. Friends and Seinfeld were on all of our televisions on Thursday nights. The Dallas Cowboys were crushing the competition and winning Super Bowls. None of us had ever heard of COVID-19. Those were some halcyon days. And halfway through that decade, flowable composites were invented.

The first flowables were met with little fanfare and slow adoption. They were honestly pretty weak materials and had little filler in them. Unfortunately, those early flowables shaded many dentists’ opinions of the entire class of flowable composites. I remember my primary operative faculty in dental school, the late great Dr. Dave Overton, consistently saying, “Why would you want to put a weaker material in the floor of your class II box, the most important area?” At the time, he was probably right. But flowables have not stayed static. We have seen great improvement in the entire class of restorative materials. One of the industry leaders has been and remains 3M Filtek Supreme Flowable Restorative.

This restorative has several distinct advantages. Firstly, it can be used as an adjunct with Filtek Supreme Ultra or it can be used on its own. I have used Filtek Supreme Flowable Restorative as a base/liner under class I and class II restorations, by itself in class III and class V restorations, and as a part of injection molding in class IV restorations. With 65% filler by weight, Filtek Supreme Flowable Restorative is strong and dependable. It has 12 shades that correspond to the shading system of Filtek Supreme Ultra. Another huge advantage is that warming (up to 158°F) is an on-label use for Filtek Supreme Flowable Restorative. This is great for those Bioclear cases!

Filtek Supreme Flowable Restorative isn’t new, but its delivery system is. That’s why you are reading about it here. 3M has redesigned the syringe and tips for this product and made them best in class. The redesigned syringe is the most ergonomic flowable syringe I’ve ever worked with. It is very comfortable to hold and easier to control the injection of material. The tips are manufactured in a way that virtually eliminates bubbles as you place your material. For Bioclear cases, this is vitally important. Bubbles are very difficult to deal with and anything that can help remove them from the equation is a win for me. These tips also eliminate “run on” so your syringe of material lasts longer, which we all like!

I use Filtek Supreme Flowable Restorative all the time for lots of different applications. It is truly one of those products that I am not sure I could practice restorative dentistry without. With the new and improved syringe and delivery tips, it has become even more indispensable to me. Base hit to right field for the new and improved 3M Filtek Supreme Flowable Restorative! 

Joshua Austin, DDS, FAGD, FACD, writes the Pearls for Your Practice column in Dental Economics. After graduating from the University of Texas Health Science Center Dental School, Dr. Austin associated for several years. In October of 2009, he opened a solo general practice in a suburban area of San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Austin is involved in all levels of organized dentistry and can be reached at [email protected].

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