116pp: 385 illus
Several years ago our research group at the University of Connecticut became intrigued by the question of why fiber-reinforced composite materials, which had been used successfully in a variety of commercial applications, were not more widely used in dentistry. After a careful review of the literature and some preliminary research, it became clear to us that the use of fiber-reinforced composites in existing dental applications was compromised by three important limitations: low fiber content, insufficient fiber wetting, and the difficulty of manipulating free fibers. Through the development of pre-impregnation technology, which has served as the primary focus of our research group over the past 10 years, these problems have been largely overcome.
Fiber-reinforced materials have highly favorable mechanical properties, and their strength-to-weight ratios are superior to those of most alloys. When compared to metals they offer many other advantages as well, including noncorrosiveness, translucency, good bonding properties, and ease of repair. Since they also offer the potential for chairside and laboratory fabrication, it is not surprising that fiber-reinforced composites have potential for use in many applications in dentistry.
While early clinical trials validated many of our concepts, the need for improved laboratory and clinical procedures soon became apparent. Some procedures were refined, and additional applications were studied in both the laboratory and the clinic. Our research group has collaborated with the Jeneric/Pentron company to develop a pre-impregnated, fiber-reinforced composite substructure material tradenamed FibreKor. Ivoclar has used a similar pre-impregnation technology to produce a fiber-reinforced composite material, also for use in fixed prosthodontics, tradenamed Vectris. Both of these commercially available systems are being used by a growing number of dental practitioners.
To realize the full potential of using fiber-reinforced composites, it is essential that the clinician and laboratory technician understand concepts of tooth preparation and framework design. In this book we have attempted to present the clinical information necessary to allow the reader to identify appropriate cases, select well-suited materials, and carry out related procedures. The publisher has graciously encouraged the liberal use of clinical photographs and diagrams to make these details clear. At the same time, we have provided background information and other details about the materials themselves so that the practitioner may appreciate the rationale for their use in various clinical situations. Every effort has been made to include the most widely used products from different manufacturers along with the different characteristics and relative advantages of each.
The field of fiber-reinforced composites continues to expand at a rapid pace. New products are being introduced even at this writing. We hope that the procedures described in this book will allow clinicians to incorporate the use of these materials into everyday practice and that the background will provide a basis for understanding future products and procedures.
The authors would like to acknowledge the early scientific contributions made by Dr Charles J. Burstone to the development of fiber-reinforced composites, including his ideas for potential clinical applications in dentistry. Dr James V. Altieri’s work with an early FRC is also acknowledged. Dr Ajit Karmaker was an important member of the group that developed the first light-polymerized formulation, and continues to be of assistance to the authors.
They also gratefully acknowledge Connecticut Innovations, Inc, whose financial support of university-industry collaborations enabled important development and commercialization efforts. Several companies producing fiber-reinforced composites for dentistry—Ribbond, Glasspan, and Kerr—provided materials, freely discussed their technologies, and offered useful comments about this and earlier publications. Additionally, Ivoclar, Inc graciously provided materials, equipment, and participation in the Targis/Vectris Training Program.
A special acknowledgment goes to the Jeneric/Pentron Corporation for the comprehensive collaborative relationship they have maintained with the University of Connecticut Health Center to help bring fiber reinforcement to the dental profession.
The authors also express their gratitude to Dr Howard E. Strassler for contributing clinical photographs and text for chapter 4; Dr Thomas N. Trinkner, Dr Bruce Marcucci, and Dr Anil Patel for contributing clinical photographs; Mr Everett Pearson and TPI Composites for contributing photographs of their fiber-reinforced products; and Dr Reza Kazemi for contributing illustrations.
Finally, the authors would like to thank Ms Diane Kosis, MPH Coordinator of the University of Connecticut Clinical Dental Research Center, and Ms Shirley Carrolla and Ms Kimberly Haser, laboratory staff of the University of Connecticut Biomaterials Center.