Making Conservative Restorations More Accessible: Additive Dentistry and Your Practice

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Benefits of additive composite dentistry

Direct composites present a number of advantages for both patients and dental practices, including conservation of tooth structure, the ability to provide same day dentistry, repairabilty, and affordability.

Composites have become the obvious choice for small fractures and carious lesions in the anterior region, and are also used extensively to restore larger coronal defects. New matrix systems further facilitate the use of advanced composite materials in practical, predictable ways for more challenging clinical cases, like closing black triangles and creating ideal tooth contours in multiple-unit anterior cases, as seen below.

Image 1: Black triangle closure using the Bioclear™ Black Triangle Matrices and method. Images courtesy of Dr. Charles Regalado, DDS

Image 2: 6 Composite Veneers using the 3M™ Filtek™ Matrix. Images courtesy of Dr. Lois Duerst, DDS

While there are inherent optical and esthetic differences between composites and porcelain ceramic materials, composites today have evolved to allow for natural light reflection and translucency and blend naturally into the surrounding dentition. In addition, opaquers are available to mask darkened enamel, tetracycline stains, and even amalgam tatoos, thereby providing a clean canvas on which to create a natural-looking, esthetic restoration.

For patients who are considering a cosmetic change to their smile, it’s often comforting to know that composites are easy to adjust, modify and repair as needed, as opposed to indirect porcelain veneers. Additionally, composite restorations wear similarly to natural tooth structure, while insufficiently polished porcelain may wear the patient’s opposing dentition.2

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