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].