I was recently looking at purchasing some new jeans, and the stuff I found was kind of alarming. It seems that well-tailored, slim jeans are no longer in. We are back to the baggy, high-rise jeans that I wore in the 1990s. As a 44-year-old man, I find myself shaking my fist at clouds. How can these high-waisted sloppy monstrosities be fashionable again?
Dentistry has trends, too. One trend over the last few years has been universal single-shade composites. It seems like every company has an entry into this field, but Ultradent is doing it a bit differently with Transcend Universal Composite.
How is it different? While Transcend is built to be a universal shade composite with a “UB” (Universal Body) single shade, it can also be layered—a more traditional approach to esthetic composite dentistry. The goal is to give dentists the flexibility to use Transcend Universal Composite in many different roles in their practice. It can be a go-to single shade posterior resin composite choice for the everyday dentistry; it can also be used in the anterior where dentin and enamel shades are available to give the ability to layer for more dynamic results.
In addition to the UB shade, Transcend Universal Composite comes in four dentin shades, B1, A1, A2, and A3, and two enamel shades, enamel neutral and enamel white. If you have a patient who needs a class IV restoration and their tooth has a bit more translucence or characterization, I recommend layering Transcend Universal Composite as follows: start with a thin lingual shell of whichever enamel shade is best for the patient. Most patients will probably be neutral, but some who have whitened recently would be white. I’d then layer a thin layer of dentin shade, up to just below the long enamel bevel. I would pick the dentin shade based on the true Vita shade of the tooth.
Following that, I’d do a thin layer of Universal Body, then finish with another thin layer of whichever enamel shade you used for your lingual shell. This will give you a composite restoration that blends well and matches the regional shade of the area with good chameleon effect. Transcend achieves this with their “resin particle match technology.” The balanced refractive indices between resin and filler particles from that technology, combined with a carefully optimized tuning between translucency and opacity, allow Transcend composite to blend with most surrounding dentition.
Transcend Universal Composite is not a bulk fill material; it should be placed in increments of less than 3 mm for posterior restorations. It has good physical properties such as low shrinkage, high “polishability,” and compressive strength. I wish I could find a pair of jeans that had the flexibility of Transcend Universal Composite … trendy but traditional at the same time.
Editor's note: This article appeared in the September 2023 print edition of Dental Economics magazine. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.