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The Thera Way

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Mark L. Cannon, DDS, MS

Dr. Cannon received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Nebraska and his Masters of Pediatric Dentistry from Northwestern University. After completing a residency at Children’s Memorial Hospital, he received Diplomate status from the Board of Pediatric Dentistry. He maintains a large, private practice focused on pediatric and orthodontic care in the suburbs of Chicago and is a frequent lecturer at national and international meetings, as well as at state and local dental societies. Dr. Cannon is a past president of the Illinois Society of Dentistry for Children and a member of the International Association of Pediatric Dentistry.

Find out why Mark L. Cannon, DDS, MS, believes that BISCO’s Thera Family:
Provides innovative materials with ideal physical and mechanical properties, calcium availability, and simple delivery that help support the final restoration
Allows him to provide better patient care in a variety of clinical scenarios

Clinicians have an obligation to continually look at the treatment they’re providing their patients and ask themselves, “Can I do better?” Sometimes, doing better is finding a new material or technique that solves a clinical challenge. For me, that material is BISCO’s TheraCal LC.

Throughout my career, I’ve been a proponent of the open-sandwich technique, which calls for applying a base of resin-modified glass ionomer. But while glass ionomer materials release fluoride, which can help remineralize the outside layers of enamel and cut back on bacteria growth, they do little for dentin bridge formation. This is why I feel they are being replaced with products like TheraCal LC that offer an alkaline pH and calcium release.*

TheraCal LC

TheraCal LC, the first Thera product created by BISCO, is a light-cured, resin-modified calcium silicate that is designed to stimulate dentin bridge formation, encourage pulpal survivability, and maintain desirable physical properties. It is ideal for direct/ indirect pulp capping and as a protective liner.

The best choice for the restorative dentist is to use a material that creates apatite, has histological studies demonstrating dentin bridge formation when properly placed, releases significant amounts of calcium, maintains an alkaline pH, and has the mechanical properties to support the final restoration. At least for me, that choice is clearly TheraCal LC.


TheraCem has been my go-to cement for zirconium crowns; it uses monomers that chemically adhere to the material. It is the only self-adhesive cement that transitions from an acidic pH, needed for self-etching, to an alkaline pH3 as it releases calcium.

TheraCal PT

The newest member of the growing Thera family, TheraCal PT is indicated for pulpotomy treatment and can be particularly useful in deep preparations that might not be appropriate for light-curing. I love having the ability to release calcium ions* in a deeper layer, so I typically use it for deep basing whenever I get close to the pulp.


Gandolfi MG, Siboni F, Prati C. Chemical-physical properties of TheraCal, a novel light-curable MTA-like material for pulp capping. Int Endod J. 2012 Jun;45(6):571–9

Gandolfi MG, Siboni F, Taddei P, Modena E, et al. Apatite-forming ability of TheraCal pulp-capping material. J Dent Res. 2011;90 (special issue A: abstract 2520)

Chen L, Gleave C, Suh B. New self-adhesive resin cement with alkaline pH. J Dent Res. 2017; 96(A):#286.

*Data on file at BISCO, Inc

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