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Composites in Dentistry

The First Composites

In dentistry, there has been huge advancements in direct composite restorations that look and feel like real teeth.

Usually, composites used in the posterior portion of the mouth are required to withstand or endure the forces of biting and chewing of the molars.

Composites that were developed in the past had large particle sizes to withstand these masticatory forces. However, the disadvantages of these were that they did not polish very well and would stain very easily due to highly porous surface.

Before Photo Bonding
Before Treatment

Advanced Composite Formulations

Because of this, manufacturers later developed small particle size composites for the anterior portion of the mouth, so that they could be lustered very fine and maintain color and shine. However, these composites were not very strong and would either wear very easily or fracture.

Selecting the Best Match

With the high demand for esthetics in today's society, the dental provider must know which material is best for the patient.

Successful Bonding Tooth Height Width
Hybrid Composite Bonding Changes
Height - Width - Reshaping
An incorrect matching of composite material and bonding process can result in having bonded posterior teeth that look cosmetically perfect but have low endurance due to forces the product was not designed to handle...

Or having anterior teeth treated with composite resin bonding products that wear like iron but feel rough and have poor cosmetic appeal and lose their luster fairly quickly.

Newer Technology Choices: Composite Hybrids

Many dentists now use a newer formulation of composite resins that not only has large particles for strength but also contains small particles for longevity of color and shine.

To illustrate: Imagine a container of large and small marbles that are condensed. The particles (marbles), large and small - interspersed evenly, fit together tightly without any spaces. The bulky marbles provide the strength while the smaller marbles provide the overall color and shine.

These composites are called hybrids because they contain both large and small particle size to acheive the most natural and functional restoration.

Case History Example

A patient presented with the desire to enhance her smile for her daughter's upcoming wedding.

Since the wedding was less than a week away, composite resin products were chosen as a treatment that could be completed with a minimum of treatment time.

We enhanced her smile immediately with direct hybrid composite. Upon completion the patient was so satisfied with her smile makeover that she later returned to upgrade her smile with products made of porcelain (veneers and crowns) to create a level of permanence that exceeds typical bonding results (veneers can endure 10-25 years or more with proper care).

A Nazarian, DDS

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