By DentistryIQ Editors
Founded in 1947, Pulpdent remains a family-owned company known for its R&D impact on the dental industry
Pulpdent Corporation enters its eighth decade as a world leader in esthetic bioactive restorative dental materials, and the company’s mission of saving teeth and promoting good health dates back even further.
The company’s founder, Dr. Harold Berk, knew his calling at an early age. By the time he was 11 years old, young Harold knew he wanted to be a dentist. Years later, he told his family that as a young boy he “wanted to fix children’s teeth.”
Born in 1917 to a family of Eastern European immigrants, Dr. Berk’s studies brought him to the Forsyth Dental Infirmary in Boston, Massachusetts, where he conducted research on the use of calcium hydroxide in vital pulp therapy. In 1947, Dr. Berk started a company to manufacture and market his “Pulpdent Paste,” a premixed calcium hydroxide paste that is still used by dentists worldwide today. The company was eventually named Pulpdent Corporation in honor of Dr. Berk’s original product.
From the beginning, Pulpdent was guided by Dr. Berk’s “mission to save teeth and […] help my patients live in comfort and smile with confidence.” In the 1970s, Dr. Berk’s three sons, Ken, Fred, and Don, took over management and operations of the company. Dr. Berk continued to serve as a consultant while maintaining a busy dental practice and teaching at Tufts Dental School.
Dr. Berk understood nature’s healing powers and saw it as his responsibility “to create an environment that is favorable for the natural healing process.” Dr. Berk’s sons explored new ways to develop dental products that mimicked nature and supported oral health. A series of innovations over a period of 15 years culminated in 2013 with Pulpdent’s launch of Activa Bioactive, a dental filling material that behaves much like natural teeth. The material is “bioactive,” as it stimulates the formation of apatite, the building block of teeth. It also chemically bonds to teeth and helps seal them against decay. Activa Bioactive has received many awards, including top performance ratings from The Dental Advisor in 2016.
Pulpdent’s offices and manufacturing facilities are based outside of Boston, just a few miles from where Dr. Berk practiced and taught dentistry. Two of Dr. Berk’s grandchildren, Lewis and Leah Berk, recently joined the company, ensuring it will remain family run for another generation.
Pulpdent celebrates its 70th anniversary this year with renewed commitment to product innovation, clinical education, and patient-centered care. To commemorate this milestone, Pulpdent has launched Heroic Dentistry, a clinical case series that showcases clinicians who combine innovation and compassion to deliver life-changing results for their patients. The series will be featured on the Pulpdent website