By Robert A. Lowe, DDS, FAGD, FICD, FADI, FACD, FIADFE
The overall goal of this article is to provide dental professionals with information on composite esthetics, physical strength, and chairside technique. Upon completion of this course, the clinician will be able to do the following:
- List and describe the influence of dental anatomy and the physics of light on color/shade of the natural dentition and esthetic restorations
- List and describe the influence of light and other operatory factors on perceived shades
- List and describe the methodology for shade taking for composite restorations
- List and describe the physical attributes that are important in composite restorations, and which are relevant for anterior and posterior restorations respectively
- Describe the chairside techniques that can be used for composite resin placement and methods for their simplification
The esthetics, strength and longevity of composite restorations are prime considerations for clinicians and patients. In order to select a composite shade and chairside technique, an understanding of the influence of dental anatomy and light on color/shade is necessary, as is knowledge of the desired physical attributes and technique options available. Current composites offer reliable esthetic solutions, improved physical attributes and simplified solutions.
The demand for esthetic anterior and posterior restorations is a key factor in the placement, and popularity with patients, of direct composite and indirect composite/ceramic restorations. Anterior direct restorations in the esthetic zone must match the tooth in fine detail as well as possess suitable physical characteristics and sufficient strength for function. For posterior esthetic direct restorations, shade match with the tooth is still important, but there are greater requirements for physical characteristics and strength due to the potential size and volume of some restorations as well as the stress-bearing nature of the posterior dentition.
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