Image courtesy of Voco
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Pearls for Your Practice: VisCalor Bulk by Voco

April 1, 2021
Joshua Austin, DDS, MAGD, reviews VisCalor Bulk by Voco, the world’s first thermoviscous bulk-fill composite. VisCalor Bulk is a nano-hybrid composite made to be heated, which offers several advantages.

I am writing this Pearl during the great snowpocalypse of Texas 2021. Last night we got four inches of snow, and the entire city of San Antonio is shuttered. Every dental office in town is closed. Heck, even all the HEBs, our beloved Texas grocery stores, are closed until noon. The cold shuts this city down. It will probably be at least two days before everything gets back to normal. I know Northerners are laughing at us, but we just aren’t built to deal with this cold. It is depressing. One thing that warms me up is thinking about VisCalor Bulk from Voco. VisCalor is the world’s first thermoviscous bulk-fill composite.

VisCalor Bulk is a nano-hybrid composite made to be heated. Heating offers us several advantages. First off, it makes the composite more flowable, so it adapts better to the cavity preparation. When warm, VisCalor Bulk flows into all the nooks and crannies of the class I or II. As it cools, it can be sculpted to the appropriate anatomy. Heating also reduces polymerization shrinkage—down to 1.4% for VisCalor Bulk. Depth of cure is also increased when composite is heated. VisCalor Bulk can be placed in 4 mm increments, making it ideal for bulk filling in the posterior! I am a big fan of heating composite and have been doing so for years. Heating composite has sort of been like an underground activity with a cult following. A small group of people have been fanatical about it, but they’re doing so off label and without much interest from the general dental public. It’s nice to see that heating composite is going mainstream and now getting some on-label love!

Now that we have established the advantages of heating VisCalor Bulk, how do we do it? Voco makes it simple for us! They offer their Caps Warmer that comes with a customized tray especially for the VisCalor bulk capsule. Having a snug fit ensures it reaches the optimal temperature of 155°. At 155°, we get the best advantages of heated composite. Simply set the Caps Warmer to the highest setting (155°). It takes a compule around three minutes to adequately heat. Once heated, it will maintain its temperature for about 20 seconds. In addition, Voco makes a novel infrared heating gun for VisCalor. It requires no preheating and can heat a compule to temperature in 30 seconds. Once heated, the VisCalor dispenser will keep the compule hot for two minutes and 30 seconds! The VisCalor dispenser is a great option for quickly and efficiently heating composite during operative procedures.

When you combine the bulk-fill aspect along with the heating capability and innovation, VisCalor is an excellent choice for everyday posterior direct restorations. Line drive double to the left field gap for VisCalor Bulk!

Joshua Austin, DDS, MAGD, is a graduate of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Dentistry, where spent five years as a member of the faculty in the department of restorative dentistry following graduation. He is a Pearls for Your Practice columnist for Dental Economics, in which he offers a fresh approach to the critique of dental products and technology in a world of commercial-driven journalism. Dr. Austin uses every product that he writes about on patients in his dental practice, and then gives an honest evaluation for readers. He lectures nationally to study clubs and dental meetings on products, dental technology, online reputation management, and social media. He maintains a full-time restorative dentistry private practice in San Antonio, Texas. You may contact Dr. Austin at [email protected].