In this selfie generation, the demand for quality aesthetic dentistry is on the rise. To match this comes a scrutiny on restorative work like never before. In a recent survey held by dental manufacturer and researcher Ultradent, dentists were asked in their opinion, what characteristics came as top priority when choosing a composite. The answers were wide ranging and covered different themes. More than anything else, aesthetics, function and longevity seemed to be the common topics on everyone’s lips.
Decide for yourself
Do you have a material that lives up to these new high standards? If you are considering a switch, without a peer or a key opinion leader’s recommendation to turn to, how do you choose which brand is best for you? In order to help make the process a bit easier, we have summarised the things people said were the most important. So before you go shopping, read on and see if what they said matters to you too.
Top 5 requirements for restorative dentists
1. Ease of use and good handling
Look for a composite that can be easily manipulated yet retains its shape and doesn't slump for anterior work. It needs to be not too runny and not to stick to instruments.
Choose a brand which offers both syringe and compule format as this will give you greater flexibility (especially if you like to warm your composite) although ideally, the best composites should work effectively without heating.
2. Select a shade guide made from the same material
Invaluable when choosing the correct shade for the patient, a shade guide made from the actual composite offers a true representation of the cured product.
Top tip: As the lighting conditions in your practice can vary due to time of day, in-surgery lighting and the position of the patient in the surgery, consider purchasing a . These devices provide the best conditions for assessing the chroma, value and hue of the dentition, and enable you to photograph your before and afters in a consistent light environment.
3. A good range of shades, opacities and translucencies
To best mimic each of your patients' individual characteristics in finer detail, look for a good range of shades. Many brands now offer up to twenty different shades of enamels, dentin shades, and characterisation effects. The range is your palette, you want one to offer the most flexibility with which you can either create a quick restoration for the budget conscious, or a beautifully layered masterpiece fit for the more ambitious.
Top tip: Find a brand which enables you to either select shades as you go, or buy a full kit. Many of us have experienced the initial excitement of a new kit change into dissappointment at the discovery of unused shades in the store cupboard going out of date.
Not all brands are made the same. Any high quality composite intended for anterior and posterior work should boast the clinical evidence demonstrating how they score against other brands in terms of hardness, compression strength and shrinkage volume.
Do your research, look at the graphs, and read the small print. You may pay more in the initial outlay, but this will be offset against the shortened chair time you come to see through less failed restorations.
Posterior restoration courtesy of Dr. Gaetano Paolone.
Choose a "Nano-hybrid" which performs well for all restorative cases. Quite often named as "Universal", this is the newest development in the industry.
Nano-hybrids are popular as they tick all the boxes when it comes to aesthetics, wear characteristics and polishability. Containing three different sized particles, they combine the benefits of microfilled composites (which posess tiny particles to create high shine but lack strength), with the larger particles of hybrid composites (which offer good strength but give a less polishable, more matte finish).
Nano-hybrids are shaped easily in the anterior zone, yet are strong enough for posterior work. They can be used for direct & indirect Inlays, Onlays and Veneers.
Try a Nano-hybrid composite for yourself.
Created by Ultradent and now available in the UK from Optident, the most recent product from Ultradent draws inspiration from the spectrum of colour, beauty and durability of the ancient artform of Mosaic. As the product was in development for 5 years, this clearly shows they don’t put something on the market until they are 100 percent convinced that it is, in their eyes, perfect.
The product is called Mosaic. Watch the video of dentists who tried it here...
Suitable for all cases
Mosaic is a universal nano-hybrid material designed for all restorative purposes. It can be used for direct & indirect (Inlays, Onlays, Veneers) whether basic or complex, and it is suitable for both posterior and anterior restorations. Dr. Hal Stewart said of Mosaic, “Love the way the material handles and I love the realistic and beautiful look…Mosaic composite is a WINNER! Can’t wait to do more cases!”
True to its nano-hybrid formula, Mosaic shows exceptional handling characteristics. It will not pull or tug during treatment - offering a smooth, pliable consistency that blends, layers and cuts easily. It doesn’t stick to instruments, slump or flow out of place after being shaped and you can expect ample working time under ambient light to manipulate the material. It also possesses the compressive strength required for the posterior zone - making it a complete package for all restorative requirements.
Containing 5 enamels, 13 dentin shades, an enamel translucent and an opaque white, Mosaic offers a fully comprehensive range that takes into consideration aesthetic detail and the individual preferences of the clinician. Compules or syringes can be bought as a kit, or individual shades can be bought separately, eliminating the danger of wasted money on extra shades that you may never use. The compules give the clinician the freedom to heat if required, although the material is easy to manipulate without heating.
The unique shade guide houses each colour option in a flexible rubber strip – meaning it can be curved around the face. Made from the actual material, a true representation can be seen when choosing a shade.
Mosaic is a long-lasting material available in a wide range of colours with easy handling and processing. It combines high aesthetics, perfect brilliance and the natural feel that all patients require.