Matching color and shape. A smart and simple recipe!

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Latest-generation composites allow, if properly used, to obtain surprising aesthetic results while using only two shades. There are three ingredients necessary for the final result to be satisfactory:
1) knowing dental anatomy;
2) choosing easy-to-handle composites;
3) knowing the optical behavior of different shades.
These considerations are essential in aesthetic areas, but also make a simple direct restoration of a posterior tooth stimulating, as in the case here presented.

teeth with carious infiltration style italiano styleitaliano

This 18-years-old patient presented a restoration with carious infiltration in correspondence with the mesial wall of 1.6 and a D1 lesion in the distal portion of 1.5, complaining, here, food impaction.

black rubber dam isolation styleitaliano style italiano

After injecting the anesthesia, I isolated the operating field with the rubber dam and proceeded to place a wooden wedge in the working area to protect the dam from any lacerations and to obtain a slight distalization.

decayed tissue under old restoration style italiano styleitaliano

Once the old restoration was removed on tooth 16, the carious lesion was evident and really deep in dentin.

dmg banner style italiano styleitaliano
dmg banner style italiano styleitaliano
caries on distal premolar styleitaliano style italiano

The distal wall of 15 was also affected by a carious lesion that required a treatment.

clean cavities style italiano styleitaliano

The II Class Cavity on 16 was properly cleaned. Enamel was finished with fine-grain burs to prevent the detachment of unsupported enamel prisms and micro-leakage.

clean distal cavity on upper premolar style italiano styleitaliano

A slot was performed on the distal wall of 15 in order to preserve the marginal ridge and not to lose anatomical information for further occlusal modeling.

etching with orthophosphoric acid style italiano styleitaliano

A piece of teflon tape was placed on 16 to protect it from etching procedure on tooth 15.

bonding application in distal cavity styleitaliano style italiano

A universal adhesive (Ecosite-Bond – DMG) was applied on the dried cavity, in a self-etching mode, using a microbrush for 20 seconds. Excess was removed and the solvent evaporated by blowing air.

distal filling in adjacent cavities style italiano styleitaliano

All the exposed dentin was covered with 0.5 mm flowable composite.
Subsequently, using a flexible spatula (LM Arte Applica), the outline of the tooth was restored by exploiting the residual anatomical information of the distal wall, applying a layer of dentin (DMG – Ecosite Elements Pure A2) and layer of enamel (DMG – Ecosite Elements Layer EM).

style italiano styleitaliano lm arte anterior instrument
style italiano styleitaliano lm arte anterior instrument
second class cavity on upper molar style italiano styleitaliano

The slight over-hang of the final restoration could be easily corrected using a reciprocating handpiece. The restoration was then polished before proceeding with the restoration of the adjacent tooth.

matrix and wedge positioned for proximal build-up style italiano styleitaliano

A sectional matrix (Lumicontrast, Polydentia) and again a wedge were then placed.

selective etching of the enamel styleitaliano style italiano

Selective etching of the enamel with orthophosphoric acid was performed for 30 seconds.

application of universal bonding resin style italiano styleitaliano

As before, a universal adhesive was brushed for 20 seconds in the cavity and then polymerized.

proximal composite build-up styleitaliano style italiano

The interproximal wall was layered by using an enamel shade (DMG – Ecosite Elements Layer EM) in two increments, in order to reproduce a more natural anatomy. For the same reason, the top of a small accessory ridge was added using the same material. Using black matrices is important to evaluate and achieve the right thickness of the interproximal wall.

layering of composite resin in cavity style italiano styleitaliano

Before removing the sectional matrix, the dentin was immediately sealed with a flowable composite, and then a build-up of the dentin (DMG – Ecosite Elements Pure A2) was carried out.

pre-finishing of composite restorationwith pop-on discs styleitaliano style italiano

Before layering the occlusal surface, the outline of the restoration was finished with an abrasive disc in order to minimize modeling mistakes and subsequent occlusal pre-contacts. After finishing, it is necessary to wet the composite particles with some universal adhesive and blow before starting to model again.

layering of ridges styleitaliano style italiano

To obtain a realistic anatomy, only one enamel shade (DMG – Ecosite Elements Layer EM) was used. First, the enamel mass was layered following the inclination of the residual ridges.

staining of sulcus for natural-looking filling style italiano styleitaliano

Then a brown stain was placed (DMG – Ecosite Elements Highlight Brown) in the sulcus, and left uncured.

multiple cavities on upper molar styleitaliano style italiano

As a last layer, the enamel mass was placed onto the uncured stain and modelled for a very natural appearance.

finished composite restoration on upper molar styleitaliano style italiano

The same procedure was performed to complete the modeling of the occlusal surface.

stained sulci in composite restoration style italiano styleitaliano

As you can see in the picture, this composite’s capacity to keep the shape allows for a detailed anatomy. The combination of an enamel and a dentin shade, suggested by a special scale (Ecosite Elements Shade Guide), gives a realistic result.

finished composite layering style italiano styleitaliano

The final restoration required minimal finishing and polishing. This procedure was quickly and easily carried out with a simple polishing rubber tip, used dry and at low speed. The contact area seemed adequate.

occlusal check of composite restorations style italiano styleitaliano

Immediately after rubber dam removal and bite check, no occlusal adjustments were needed.

composite restorations on molar and premolar style italiano styleitaliano

Follow up picture after 7 weeks.


The integration of a direct restoration depends on a few key factors, especially morphological and chromatic ones. Thanks to this composite, it is possible to obtain satisfactory results in terms of shape because each increment, once placed, maintains its position stably, thus allowing the clinician to give the restoration depth and volume. In terms of color, it is possible to stratify two shades following a specific colour scale. The choice of staining is optional, but can be an additional expedient to obtain a highly esthetic restoration. Lastly, the composite requires a very fast polishing which is maintained over time, as is evident from the follow-up picture.


1. Fruits TJ, Knapp JA, Khajotia SS. Microleakage in the proximal walls of direct and indirect posterior resin slot restorations. Oper Dent. 2006 Nov-Dec;31(6):719-27.
3. Fronza BM, Abuna GF, Braga RR, Rueggeberg FA, Giannini M. Effect of Composite Polymerization Stress and Placement Technique on Dentin Micropermeability of Class I Restorations. J Adhes Dent. 2018;20(4):355-363. doi: 10.3290/j.jad.a40987.
5. Chiodera G. “Mind the Neighbor Teeth: 5 rules to follow” –


style italiano styleitaliano indirect restorations with dual-cured dentine substitutes

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style italiano styleitaliano worn misaligned teeth composite veneers direct composite restoration direct veneering of central incisor

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