The development of a new product requires a good dose of openness and curiosity. To dig deeper, to go to the source, to seek and find the information necessary to bring the product to life. The process can take several years, depending on its complexity. What matters in this case is the flexibility and reactiveness of the team involved. Like in the case of EssenSeal, a new generation zinc oxide eugenol sealer featuring tea tree essential oil (Melaleuca) launched by Produits Dentaires in 2019.
Interview with David Brendlen, Biomaterials Engineer in charge of R&D team and Baptiste Reuse, R&D Project Manager at Produits Dentaires.
David: The initial idea was to provide dental professionals with a cement which strictly meets the ISO 6876 standard requirements. This standard specifies requirements and test methods for endodontic sealing materials used for permanent obturation of the root canal. We focused on testing the physicochemical properties of liquid and solid components and the synergy between them. The objective was to enhance the potential of eugenol by testing its interaction with different essential oils, whose properties could further enhance our new sealer. As a result, we developed a product with ideal consistency and smooth texture, contributing to a controlled setting time, without surprises, and validated long term efficiency.
How long does it take to develop a new product? How does the development process look like?
David: It takes several years to develop a new product, depending on its complexity. We start the process putting ourselves in the users’ shoes. We need to understand a dentist who will be using our product, take into consideration the data and clinical research as well as actual needs of the users. The next step is to forget what we know exists, start fresh. It’s a blank page which will be filled with new drafts and concepts aimed at facilitating the clinical procedure.
What was the biggest challenge when developing EssenSeal?
Baptiste: One of the biggest challenges faced when developing EssenSeal was to remaster the properties of zinc oxide eugenol, one of the most popular materials used in dentistry, without adding unnecessary complexity to the product. Simplicity was our objective and at the same time challenge here. The EssenSeal’s formula contains no excessive components. Every element has been studied, tested and verified. We controlled the particles’ size, tested the properties of various essential oils before eventually opting for tea tree essential oil. By giving each component of EssenSeal an opportunity to express its full potential and generate positive synergy with other elements, we achieved our goal: to offer dentists simple, effective and efficient sealer with safe and predictable sealing properties over long term.
Did you discover any unexpected properties of EssenSeal while developing it?
Baptiste: Yes. EssenSeal’s formula has been gradually refined through extensive testing and all the ingredients were carefully chosen for their properties. However, what surprised us was the strong synergy between the components, such as the combination of the powder’s smoothness and the tea tree essential oil’s properties, which allows the cement to flow and penetrate the canal anatomy in a very thin layer, up to less than 10µm. This is five times finer than the golden standard for zinc oxide eugenol known so far. It greatly improved the final sealing properties, as even root canal crevices and complex anatomies can now be reached. Combined with the interaction of the different essential oils and their properties, this three-dimensional sealing limits the development of residual bacteria and prevents the risk of infection.
What makes EssenSeal so special?
Baptiste: The majority of the eugenol-based sealers available on the market were developed many years ago. But the users’ needs evolved in the meantime. That is why we turned to dental professionals and sought their insights when developing EssenSeal. The feedback we received helped us understand their needs and expectations. One of the remarks received most often concerned the consistency of the existing sealers, as well as their smell. This is why EssenSeal is the only sealer available on the market which combines a pleasant refreshing scent, smoothness and whiteness of the powder when mixed with optimal consistency. On top of that, its mixing ratio is as simple as one drop of liquid for one spoon of powder, which greatly improves the user experience.
EssenSeal meets the ISO 6876 standard requirements, making it an ideal cement for ensuring safe long-term sealing. What makes EssenSeal so special is the fact it explores the properties of essential oils, not only eugenol. This synergy has a significant impact on the quality of the treatment and helps the product meet the clinical expectations associated with endodontic treatment.