Utah-based Dr. Jeremy Ellis invented the Dental Glass Pin — a fiber optic glass pin for chipped and broken tooth repair.
Dr. Jeremy Ellis has been practicing dentistry for 23 years. Throughout his career, he’s completed a variety of different tooth repairs. When it comes to anterior repairs, he was frustrated by the difficult traditional treatment process and its poor long-term outcomes.
Almost 13 years ago, Ellis started to evaluate the ways to repair an anterior chip. Traditional solutions include making grooves, channels, pits, and using titanium pins in adhesive restorations. The best restoration has both chemical and mechanical properties, he said, but the difficulty with anterior teeth is that all adhesives have great compressional strength but poor sheer resistance. To anchor the filling to the tooth, the stress must change to compressional forces with mechanical retention.
Ellis began by assessing the molecular structure of the tooth and all associated anatomy and realized a device that would have similar properties of the tooth would work best.
“An idea came as I was helping my daughter with a science project using fiber optics connected to a light source to make an amazing jellyfish,” Ellis said. “The thought came to me, ‘Could I use the fibers as a reinforcement like a rebar in concrete?’ I started placing fiber optics in extracted teeth and then bonding composite to the fibers.”
The results were successful, and they led to the creation of the Dental Glass Pin — a cylinder of fiber optic glass with similar properties to the tooth. It bends and flexes with the tooth, yet has properties that allow it to bond with the tooth’s enamel and/or dentin, and to any adhesive restorative system to repair the tooth. This solution eliminates or postpones the use of traditional crowns, caps, or titanium pins, and it works with any composite products that dentists are already using, Ellis said.
Since creating the Dental Glass Pin, Ellis has performed more than 160 restorations and has recorded only five failures in 10 years.
“Using the glass pin, I have experienced that fillings stay in place. I have used this product in the posterior and have had equally good results. As a dentist, I can make permanent restorations with long-term predictable results in the anterior and posterior,” Ellis said. “My glass pin works with all curing lights and restoration systems. It is very easy to use with no additional training required. Insurance pays for this procedure #D2951.”
Dentistry Elevated, LLC is based in Northern Utah and was started by a dentist looking for a new solution to provide a better treatment for broken teeth for his patients. To learn more about the Burkhart-exclusive Dental Glass Pin, visit Dentistry-Elevated.com
Written by Madison Miller
Photos provided by Dentistry Elevated
Published in Catalyst – Q1 2023.
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