Oral Health Group

New TPH Spectra® ST with Top Handling Properties Launched at #2018PDC

March 9, 2018
by Dentsply Sirona


The new TPH Spectra generation from Dentsply Sirona is a light cured, universal composite indicated for direct and indirect restorations in all classes of cavities in the anterior and posterior regions. Thanks to its SphereTECTM filler technology, which is totally new in the world of composites, the ease of use is instantly noticeable during application: The spherical, granulated glass fillers have a ball-bearing effect that creates excellent adaptation and sculptability. Its ingeniously simple shade system enables new TPH Spectra ST to cover the entire VITA®1 spectrum with only five shades and its fast yet straightforward polishability results in an outstanding gloss. In this interview the Director of Clinical Affairs, Professor Dr. Rainer Seemann, describes in detail how dental practitioners will benefit from this new development.

In your time as head of clinical affairs, you were involved in the development of the new TPH Spectra ST from the very beginning. Do you consider it correct that the advertising for this new product focuses so strongly on its handling properties?

From the dentist’s point of view I consider this absolutely correct. Of course TPH Spectra ST also provides for noticeably enhanced fracture and abrasion resistance as well as surface gloss, but my experience in many clinical studies has shown that, in dentistry, the operator has more influence on the clinical outcome than the physical parameters of the product in use. That’s why I consider it important that improved working properties lead to an easier and more reliable processing.

“Enhanced handling properties” sounds very across-the-board. What am I to make of that?

Handling composite materials is mainly influenced by the following properties: Adaptability, sculptability, slump resistance, stickiness and consistency.

What do you mean by “Adaptability”?

It describes how well the composite paste can be adapted to the floor, walls and margins of the cavity. This property of TPH Spectra ST is very distinct unlike other materials which also have a firmer consistency.

“Consistency”?

This denotes the firmness of the composite and is often referred to as “Viscosity”. Contrary to the other properties, the correct consistency is a matter of taste. This is why TPH Spectra ST is available in two viscosities.

What about sculptability?

We define this as how easily composites can be formed to the desired anatomical contours. Sculptability is dependent on other parameters such as adaptability and stickiness to the instrument. Of course one wishes for a material which is easily and precisely sculpted so, that later less time and effort are required for finishing.

And how do you define “slump resistance”?

The modeling is carried out with the uncured paste. Once the desired anatomical forms have been achieved, the paste is supposed to stay in shape until it is light cured. We refer to this property as “slump resistance”. Absence of this property leads to, for example, fissures melting away or cuspal slopes sliding down from cavity margins. High slump resistance is an important parameter for handling properties.

Why is it important to ensure that the product does not stick to the hand instrument?

We want a composite which is easy to sculpt. A material which sticks to the instrument impedes modeling.

Are the working properties of all composites not similar?

This is definitely not the case. As we mentioned previously, dentists place different demands on the consistency. Apart from this, dentists prefer products which are easily adapted and contoured, do not stick to the instrument and are slump resistant. This is where products differ greatly, not only metrologically, but also clinically.

What advantages result from enhancing the handling properties?

In improving the handling properties of a product, we can achieve enhanced clinical results in comparison to products exhibiting otherwise equivalent performance. Improved handling properties also curtail the treatment time, which goes hand-in-hand with economic advantages.

What proof is available to support the claim that new TPH Spectra ST has “handling properties superior to those of other composite products”?

In a user evaluation involving 131 dental practitioners throughout the US having used the new TPH Spectra ST for at least 10 procedures in their daily routine resulting in a total of more than 2200 restorations placed, 77% said the material exceeded their expectations. 68% rated the overall handling being better compared to their currently used composite. As emphasized above, stickiness is one important aspect of handling. 65% rated stickiness to hand instrument being better for THP Spectra ST.

What does shade selection have to do with handling properties?

Straightforward and reliable shade selection simplifies treatment just as much as the other handling parameters mentioned.

Even though medium translucency TPH Spectra® ST pastes are supplied in only five shades plus a bleach shade, all teeth in the VITA®1 Classical shade range (A1 to D4) can be treated with them. These shades are referred to as A1, A2, A3, A3.5 and A4 because they correspond to the most commonly occurring tooth shades and every dentist can imagine exactly what they look like.

Is it an advantage to have fewer shades?

Yes, definitely! Assuming these shades are sufficient to create convincing esthetics for a wide spectrum of the naturally occurring tooth shades. And it’s easier to bear the shade characteristics of fewer composite shades in mind. Which of the five CLOUD shades will produce optimum results for a certain tooth shade is easily determined with the recipe included in each package. It also is printed on the packaging.

You speak of “CLOUD shades”. What am I to make of that? Can they be downloaded from the internet?

Yes, searching for “CLOUD Shades” and “Dentsply Sirona” in Google will provide many useful tips on correct shade-taking for TPH Spectra ST. But seriously: The term “CLOUD shades” is supposed to imply that each of the five TPH Spectra ST shades is suitable for reproducing a specific number of the 16 VITA®1 shades and the coordinates of these target shades form a data cloud within the three-dimensions of the L*a*b* shade system.

This sounds really complex. Isn’t this asking too much of dental practitioners?

No, not at all. In daily practice, shade-taking is intuitive. Feedback from users describes TPH Spectra ST as being a composite which is particularly easy to use and leads reliably to top esthetics.


Prof. Dr. med. dent. Rainer Seemann, MBA is Global Director Clinical Affairs at Dentsply Sirona Restorative and Professor at the Department of Operative-, Preventive- and Pediatric Dentistry of the University Bern, Switzerland. Dr. Seemann studied Dentistry in Berlin and worked in several positions at the Dental School of the Charité, University Clinic of Berlin, Germany. He finished his PhD in 2006 and holds an MBA in Health Care Management since 2007.

About Dentsply Sirona
Dentsply Sirona is the world’s largest manufacturer of professional dental products and technologies, with a 130-year history of innovation and service to the dental industry and patients worldwide. Dentsply Sirona develops, manufactures, and markets a comprehensive solutions offering including dental and oral health products as well as other consumable medical devices under a strong portfolio of world class brands. As The Dental Solutions CompanyTM, Dentsply Sirona’s products provide innovative, high-quality and effective solutions to advance patient care and deliver better, safer and faster dentistry. Dentsply Sirona’s global headquarters is located in York, Pennsylvania, and the international headquarters is based in Salzburg, Austria. The company’s shares are listed in the United States on NASDAQ under the symbol XRAY. Visit www.dentsplysirona.com for more information about Dentsply Sirona and its products.