Stamp Technique. An easy way to restore cavities.

How can we effectively address minor cavities in a manner that is straightforward, swift, and reliably predictable? As some of you may already know, the answer may often lie in the Stamp Technique. Today, I’m excited to demonstrate how to execute this method with efficiency and precision, ensuring the preservation of the patient’s dental integrity while achieving a restoration that closely mimics the natural anatomy of the tooth.

style italiano styleitaliano rubber dam isolation of lower molars

Fig.1
When performing a Class I or II restoration, along with the cementation of inlays, I consistently advise isolating not only the affected tooth but also the two adjacent ones. This ensures clear visibility of the occlusal anatomy of neighboring teeth, facilitating an accurate imitation during the restoration process.
For the Stamp Technique, particularly when addressing a Class I cavity, I suggest isolating a single tooth. However, when confronted with two Class I cavities in the same treatment, I advocate for isolating additional adjacent teeth to maintain optimal precision and efficiency throughout the procedure.

style italiano styleitaliano stamp fabrication

Fig.2
After isolation, the next step involves recording the occlusal surface of the teeth using a specialized resin. This resin was chosen for its exceptional hardness and resilience, crucial qualities to prevent fracturing when imprinting the shape onto the uncured composite. Consider using a flowable composite resin as a substitute for the current resin. It should possess both high fluidity and hardness upon curing for optimal results.

First, a thin layer of resin is applied to the occlusal surface and then cured. Subsequently, the instrument is gently placed onto the polymerized resin, and an additional layer of resin is applied to securely embed it, ensuring no detachment occurs during the procedure.

style italiano styleitaliano amalgam compactor repurposed as stamp holder

Fig.3
To fabricate the stamp, I utilized a repurposed old amalgam compactor fitted with blunt tips, serving as a sturdy “stamp holder” tool to position the stamp precisely. With its dual working tips, this tool offers the advantage of simultaneously accommodating both stamps without requiring additional equipment.

style italiano styleitaliano occlusal stamps

Fig.4
Close-up of the two fabricated stamps.

style italiano styleitaliano cavity etching

Fig.5
Following the stamping process, we proceeded with the standard etching and bonding procedures.

style italiano styleitaliano lining cavities with flowable composite

Fig.6
Next, we applied a thin layer of flowable composite (approximately 1mm) onto the cavity base, ensuring even coverage, and polymerized it. Then, we proceeded to fill the cavity, leaving a final layer of uncured composite material (approximately 1mm) on top.

style italiano styleitaliano stamped fillings

Fig.7
After stamping the occlusal surface, we removed the excess material and polymerize it.

style italiano styleitaliano stamped fillings after occlusal check

Fig.8
Following occlusal checks, the restoration was complete. In just a few minutes, we’ve achieved a satisfactory outcome, returning the patient’s occlusal shape to its pre-cavity state.

Conclusions

The Stamp Technique is undeniably straightforward, predictable, and accessible to all. In my daily practice, I implement this technique at least five times a week, consistently achieving results like the one demonstrated above in less than 30 minutes.
I extend my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who contributes to our community, especially the members of Style Italiano, particularly Monaldo. It is thanks to individuals like you that I’m inspired to share cases like this one, which, despite its simplicity, has truly transformed my approach to daily practice.

Bibliography

  1. Manauta, J., & Salat, A. (2012). *Layers: An Atlas of Composite Resin Stratification.* Quintessence Publishing.
  2. Manauta, J., Salat, A., Devoto, W., & Putignano, A. (2022). *Layers 2 Direct Composites: The Styleitaliano Clinical Secrets.* Quintessence Publishing.
  3. Brenna, A. (2009). *Accademia Italiana di Conservativa. Odontoiatria Restaurativa: Procedure di Trattamento e Prospettive Future.* Elsevier.
  4. Hardan, M. (2021). *Protocols for Mobile Dental Photography with Auxiliary Lighting.* Quintessence Publishing.
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