Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2015 01 Shade Guide

3 must-have shades for common core buildups

Jan. 26, 2015
Joshua Austin, DDS, FAGD, recommends three shades for buildups that will make prepping easier for you.
Shade-centric: That’s one way to characterize the world of dentistry today. In so many of our procedures, the heat is on to pick the perfect shade to mirror nature. For that reason, I think our brains get fried from thinking about shades, causing us to completely ignore them in situations where we might think they don’t matter as much — such as with posterior composites. I am a frequent sufferer of what I like to call “A2 Posterior Syndrome.” Almost every posterior composite I do is shade A2. Core buildups are another example of this type of situation. It’s going under porcelain, and unless it’s an anterior, you won’t be able to see anything through the final restoration anyway. I totally understand, but I want you to start thinking about shades for buildups to make prepping easier. Three different buildup shades are essential to any restorative practice: A2, blue, and opaceous white.

Plain ol' A2: Use A2 as your core material whenever you are building up occlusal or buccal pit areas. A2 will blend in pretty well with your prep. Use it on anteriors where the buildup doesn’t extend very deep gingivally.

Blue: Use blue for anteriors that have deep decay or when you are removing a deep, old restoration. In the anterior, a blue core material will make it a little easier to see when your finish line is on solid natural tooth, but it won’t be visible through the ceramic final restoration.

Opaceous white: Use this for posteriors where the buildup is on any interproximal surface or when it’s deep in any aspect. The contrast between the opaceous white and natural dentin is striking. When you are prepping natural tooth in a deep area, it’s so much easier to see when you’ve used white buildup, as opposed to a more natural-looking A2 or blue shade. I also find that white buildup materials scan more easily with a digital impression scanner because they don’t reflect as much light as A2 or white. If you’ve never used a stark white buildup material, give it a try for your next deep finish line. Once you’ve tried it, you won’t want to use anything else.

Plenty of companies make great core buildup materials. My favorites are Build-It by Pentron, LuxaCore by DMG, and CosmeCore by Cosmedent. Try incorporating these shades into your crown and bridge procedures. I think they will make your life much easier when dealing with deep margins.

Editor's Note: This article first appeared inPearls for Your Practice: The Product Navigator. Do you have a question for Dr. Austin? Is there a product you'd like to see him review? Or would you like to submit your own products article or "Pearl"? Tweet to @pearlmail or send an email to [email protected].

Joshua Austin, DDS, FAGD, is the editorial director for Pearls for Your Practice: The Product Navigator, a new e-newsletter from and Dental Economics. He also writes the "Pearls for Your Practice" column in Dental Economics. After graduating from the University of Texas Health Science Center Dental School, Dr. Austin associated for several years. During October of 2009, he opened a solo general practice in a suburban area of San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Austin is involved in all levels of organized dentistry and can be reached at [email protected].