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Orthodontist in a white coat sitting on a stool next to a small table displaying an aligner case and typodent.

We use empathy, insights and innovation to elevate health care everywhere. See how talking to dentists helped Solventum design a more sustainable solution. 

​​​​​​​“A pain point in dentistry in general is the amount of materials that we have to stock or use. It would be very nice if we could simplify this material list that we have,” says Dr. Carlos Sabrosa, who partners with Solventum to provide clinical insights on dental products and procedures.

Like many sectors, the dental industry has been chewing on a problem: how much it wastes.

Enter 3M™ RelyX™ Universal Resin Cement and Automix Syringe.

3M RelyX Universal Resin Cement works both as a standalone, self-adhesive cement and as an adhesive cement when combined with 3M™ Scotchbond™ Universal Plus Adhesive. Dentists can use the cements for a variety of restorations, like crowns, bridges, veneers and more. RelyX Universal Resin Cement comes in the game-changing, proprietary 3M™ RelyX™ Universal Automix Syringe and Micro Mixing Tip.

Read more about the automix syringe

Compared to current standard automix systems, the tip provides 80 percent less cement waste per application and the syringe delivers the usual number of applications but with 50 percent less plastic waste per application.

Andreas Boehm is an advanced product specialist who helped bring the solution to life. “Seeing the whole process be successful, from first ideas to market, is really gratifying," he reflects. Andreas appreciates the warm reception from the dental community, especially because he and his team didn’t initially set their sights on sustainability. Instead, they focused on how to address the dentist's need to tackle restorations more efficiently.

Their first step?

Let dentists do the talking

Before making inroads on a new solution, the Solventum team talked to dentists across the United States and Europe and received continuous feedback throughout the development process. 

The team discovered that, on average, dentists use more than five different adhesives and resin cements in total, with excess clean-up being the number one pain point.

Ninety percent of the dentists the Solventum team surveyed agreed that unifying and simplifying resin cement procedures was important. Out of 139 survey respondents, 50% of dentists had to discard expired resin cements.

Material and financial waste resulted from unused product. 

Time for a new solution

Andreas and team developed a revolutionary cement that works both as a standalone, self-adhesive cement and as an adhesive cement when combined with 3M™ Scotchbond™ Universal Plus Adhesive. Together, they eliminate the hassle and confusion of multiple resin cements, primers and adhesives, simplifying dental restorations. With fewer products to stock and replenish, dentists save time, money and material waste. ​​​​​​​In the context of a circular economy, less waste is a big win. Innovative product design helps us do what circularity encourages us to do: Stop waste from being produced in the first place.

Putting the customer first

​​​​​​​It turns out, prioritizing customer needs led to a new-to-the-world product and delivery system that is more efficient and more sustainable. With fewer steps and less waste, we’re a few steps closer to a more sustainable world and better health for all.