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694: Dr. Newton Fahl - Are Composite Resins for this Day and Age in Digital Dentistry

In this episode, Kirk welcomes a leading thinker, educator, and practicing dentist Dr. Newton Fahl to discuss the importance of composite resigns in an age of digital dentistry. Dr. Fahl sheds light on the ethical and financial aspects of using composite resins and highlights the artistry involved in creating natural-looking restorations. They discuss the advancements in composite resin materials and Dr. Fahl explains his process of restorations and how he charges for the work. His upcoming course, 'Mastering Interior Composites,' covers the fundamental concepts and techniques of composite resin restorations. To learn more about composite resins in the age of digital dentistry, don’t miss this episode!

Learn More About Dr. Newton Fahl:

More Helpful Links for a Better Practice & A Better Life:

Main Takeaways: 

  • Composite resins play a crucial role in digital dentistry and are becoming increasingly important in modern dental practices.
  • The ethical aspect of composite resins involves providing effective, predictable, and revenue-generating procedures that justify the time and effort spent on them.
  • Composite resins require a combination of art and science to achieve productive, artistic, and ethical results.
  • Advancements in composite resin materials have focused on improving shrinkage, strength, and polishability.
  • Dr. Newton Fahl offers a comprehensive course, 'Mastering Interior Composites,' where participants can learn the artistry and techniques of composite resin restorations.


“If you start with prevention, if you have had a patient with not a single restoration in their mouth. And you open that, it may be in proper occlusion or malocclusion, it doesn't matter. You're talking about virgin, untouched teeth. How much better can you get? You can't get better than that. So when you evolve from that stage of prevention into the preservation stage where you say, okay, now we have a pathology, a broken tooth is pathology. That's one thing. And then what you can do is instead of doing a crown like Bob Marge's didn't do for you, rightfully so, you can just add to it. And the science is there. Papers are there. The research is there to support that you are actually making that remnant stronger than if you were to prep a crown for several reasons, because you're weakening by taking away sound dental structure. On the other hand, you have the augmentation part of it, which is adding to watch what is actually good. And then you're talking about cosmetic issues. You're talking about closing diastemas. You're talking about class fours. You're talking about smile design.” (8:48 - 10:26)

“The stories that we all hear, we all hear these stories day in and day out. A patient comes in, they wouldn't smile. So we did this and they came out smiling. We changed their lives. We don't change patients' lives. We change their smile and it has an impact on people's lives.” (12:57 - 13:11)

“The thing that we know in dentistry is the higher the fee, the higher the expectations to assume we're going to be able to nail a patient's expectations every time. That's a hard thing. And so I think with this, with that, I mean, he was able to change directions and smooth a piece out and lengthen a piece just while I was in the chair, you know? So it's kind of cool, don't you think that we have, we have the ability to do this. And again, you can charge a full fee for this. Let me add one more thing, Newton. I want you to comment. My previous dentist, Craig Harry, I'll shout out to you. He's in the later stage of his career, but he's told me this. He's like, Kirk, I don't want to do a crown ever again if I don't have to. Like I do composites all the time and I charged, I'll tell you, he charges $1 an hour. There's no lab fee. I take my time. I do it. It's so much fun working on people that want this work. I don't feel like we're bound by anything. I can reverse things. I can change things. And it's just easy.” (17:07 - 17:31)

“When people come to you, they have a problem and they're paying for the outcome. They're not paying for how much tooth structure you remove or how, you know, and I think ultimately you knew what you're saying is absolutely true. Everybody's got to come up with their formula. And most of the people that I see in the mature stages, they just know what their time is worth and they know if I'm going to work six hours today, this is about what I would charge. And you're charging for your expertise.” (23:50 - 24:14)

“I think composites are more than ever for this day and age because we have the technology. We have the technology. It's totally there. We have the artistry. There are over 70 types of composite restorative systems available commercially worldwide. So you can pick and choose. And adhesion is there. We have adhesives that will allow us to bond to teeth and have long lasting adhesive interfaces that will last a long, long time. And we have tutors, educators, and I'm talking not only about myself, we have true educators that can convey principles for anyone. who wants to endeavor in that route and learn compositor artistry so that they can be conscious about doing something that is ethical, non -invasive, aesthetic, and money -making. I mean, it's all there. It's all there. There is no excuse for anybody who will say, I don't do composites because I don't have the technology. I don't... I don't think I can make enough money with it. I don't think my patients will like it. I don't think they're gonna last long enough. This is all a lie. It's all there. All it takes is for anyone to really dive deep into it and learn how to do it.” (33:47 -  35:26)


01:10 Introduction to Dr. Newton Fahl

02:39 Importance of Composite Resins in Digital Dentistry

06:07 The Ethical Aspect of Composite Resins

08:02 The Financial Aspect of Composite Resins

10:27 The Artistry of Composite Resins

14:21 The Advancements in Composite Resins

33:47 Summary and Course Promotion

Dr. Newton Fahl Bio:

Dr. Newton Fahl Jr. received his DDS degree from Londrina State University, Brazil, in 1987. In 1989, he received the Certificate in Operative Dentistry and Master of Science degree from the University of Iowa. He is a fellow member of the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry (AAED), an MCG-Hinman Foundation fellow, and an adjunct professor at UNC. He is the recipient of the prestigious American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry (AAED) 2008 President’s Award for Best Teacher, and the 2011 American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) Excellence in Cosmetic Dentistry Education Award.

In addition to being on the editorial board of several peer-reviewed journals, Dr. Fahl has published extensively on direct and indirect bonding techniques. He is proud to be the author of the book, Composite Veneers – the Direct-Indirect Technique. His composite layering approach, The Polychromatic Technique (1995), has helped thousands of dentists globally achieve the highest levels of restorative excellence.

Dr. Fahl lives in Curitiba, Brazil, where he maintains a private practice emphasizing esthetic dentistry at the Fahl Center and conducts hands-on courses on direct and indirect adhesive restorations.

Kirk Behrendt

Kirk Behrendt is a renowned consultant and speaker in the dental industry, known for his expertise in helping dentists create better practices and better lives. With over 30 years of experience in the field, Kirk has dedicated his professional life to optimizing the best systems and practices in dentistry. Kirk has been a featured speaker at every major dental meeting in the United States. His company, ACT Dental, has consistently been ranked as one of the top dental consultants in Dentistry Today's annual rankings for the past 10 years. In addition, ACT Dental was named one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States by Inc Magazine, appearing on their Inc 5000 list. Kirk's motivational skills are widely recognized in the dental industry. Dr. Peter Dawson of The Dawson Academy has referred to Kirk as "THE best motivator I have ever heard." Kirk has also assembled a trusted team of advisor experts who work with dentists to customize individual solutions that meet their unique needs. When he's not motivating dentists and their teams, Kirk enjoys coaching his children's sports teams and spending time with his amazing wife, Sarah, and their four children, Kinzie, Lily, Zoe, and Bo.