Jerri James, CDT, a dentaltechnician at CenTex Dental Lab in Waco, Texas, can hardly remember a time before Wonderfill. Hard-pressed to say exactly how long she’s been using it in her lab, she can’t imagine going back to how things were before.
“We’ve been using it for at least 10 years,” she says. “I’m not really sure how long, because it’s just made the years since we began using it so much more treamlined. I would never go back to before.”
Priding herself on the quality of her work, James has found Wonderfill to be a reliable way to create perfect, well-fitting finished products. Premixed and easy to form, Wonderfill acts as a quick-use tongue-and-void filler that saves labs time and money, by quickly and easily creating more accurate and better-looking models—a huge departure from the days of alginate tongue fillers or plaster and stone models without a filler. Although Wonderfill can also be used for bleaching trays, James primarily uses it as a void filler for the lower tongue area and to fill in bubbles, air pockets, undercuts, and spaces left by missing teeth.
“The big benefit is we aren’t doing the old boxing method for models,” James says. “Wonderfill blocks out all undercuts and makes a neater looking model. It’s a complete turnaround from the years past. When I went to lab school to learn how to box a model, we didn’t have all this. All we had was boxing models with wax—and this is definitely the way to go over that.”
With the boxing technique, which required extra steps such as pouring wax, James found the process took 20 to 30 minutes. With Wonderfill, she says it takes maybe 5 minutes to get it prepped and ready to pour. After a lower impression is taken, the tongue area is filled with Wonderfill. Once the plaster is poured and set, Wonderfill is easily removed for a clean, generally residue-free model.
“Residue depends a bit on the consistency,” James says. “Occasionally, you’ll get a situation where it sticks to the model, but not very often. [Dental Creations] finally has it perfected where it rarely does. But, in the off chance it does, it is water soluble so it washes right off perfectly—no matter what.”
This also means less of a mess. There’s no messy alginate tongue filler to mix and clean up, and technicians won’t be faced with the dust caused by grinding out stone, as Wonderfill eliminates the need for both of those methods.
“It’s too easy not to use,” James says. “It’s less mess, because you don’t have the big cleanup that you would when you pour a regular model or are boxing a model.”
Another benefit James touts is Wonderfill’s cost-effectiveness. In addition to being inexpensive, James says, Wonderfill is reusable, should technicians want to reuse it. Because it comes premixed and has a long shelf life, a little bit can go a long way, which is especially important when a lab uses it as much as James does.
“To me, it’s a perfect add,” she says. “When we go out to doctor’s offices [for] a job there, we take a bucket of it with us so we have it there to use. We wouldn’t go without it.”
Overall, James is hard-pressed to come up with any Wonderfill shortcomings. She’s had a great experience with not only the product but also with Dental Creations, and she says the company is easy to work with and simple to get a hold of. For labs that haven’t used Wonderfill yet, James has 1 piece of advice.
“They need to try it,” she says. “ Once they try it, they’ll see it makes your product look so much nicer. It makes a better-looking product to send back to the doctor’s office. We care about what we send out, so we want our product to look nice. Wonderfill just makes a world of difference.”
Designed to work as a tongue and void filler to fill in bubbles, air pockets, missing teeth, and undercuts, Wonderfill can also be used with a bleaching tray. It reportedly eliminates grinding out stone from lower impressions and there is no need to mix alginate filler. Wonderfill holds up under heat when making heat-shrink retainers and is said to enhance the fit of appliances and bleaching trays.
Article by: Jerri James, CDT