Composite restoration is the most demanding procedure in dentistry. Anterior composite
restoration is used to restore defects of tooth color, shape or position caused by
developmental problems; acute or chronic trauma; or caries. There are numerous
composite materials to select from and a wide variation of restorative defects, which can
potentially occur including class 3,4,5 and veneering restorations. This maes
understanding factors, which affect restoration success, difficult but essential to obtain
long lasting health, function and esthetics
!actors used to provide proper restoration of anterior teeth with composite includes
". #mile $esign %. Color and Color Analysis 3. Tooth Color 4. Tooth #hape 5.
Tooth &osition '. (sthetic )oals *. Composite #election +. Tooth &reparation ,.
-onding Techni.ues "/. Composite &lacement Techni.ues "". Composite
#culpture "%. Composite &olishing
The least understood and least completed of these is proper surface shaping, contouring
and te0turing. )eneral shaping of embrasures, contacts, incisal edge and gingival outline
establish the silhouette of a tooth while line angles and height of contour establish the
face of a tooth. Controlling factors, which form the face and silhouette of a tooth, provide
a perception of tooth si1e. #urface contours and te0ture further alter si1e perception by
controlling light transmission, reflection, refraction and absorption
Transmission of light is measured by translucency of a material, which defines how much
light can pass through. 2eflection is when light bounces off a surface. 2efraction is when
light enters a material but the direction of the light is bent at the surface of the material.
Absorption is when light enters a material but does not leave
2eflection and refraction of light is dependant on the angle at which light stries the
surface of a material. 3t is important to produce proper surface shape, contours and
te0ture to control reflection and refraction and simulate natural teeth
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Controlling light is critical to color perception. 8hen light enters enamel, it proceeds
through the enamel and stries dentin. #ome light is absorbed and some reflected by
dentin. 2eflected light e0its through enamel so the eye sees dentin color. There are
several factors, which influence this color perception
The first factor, which alters uniform color appearance, is enamel thicness and enamel
mae up. (namel thicness lessens the amount of color, which shows through so gingival
areas where enamel is thin shows more yellow. (namel structure may include areas
where improper enamel formation occurs as is seen with hypocalcification, fluorosis and
staining. (namel construction can further be altered by aging as is seen by chipping and
The second factor which influences color perception is alteration of dentin color. $entin
substructure is not always one uniform color through out and can be seen through enamel
as such
The third factor is light direction and intensity. 4ight intensity determines how far light
enters through enamel and reflects off dentin. 4ight direction determines if light is
transmitted, reflected or refracted. At different angles different effects can occur and
different angle relative to a small tangents to the surface vary tremendously if the surface
is smooth or te0tured. #mooth areas produce large areas of transmission, reflection or
refraction of enamel. Te0tured surfaces can produce hundreds of small areas of
transmission, reflection or refraction of enamel and a much different effect
(namel is translucent and prismatic because of its enamel rod structure. (namel also has
varying surface contours and te0tures, which absorbs, reflects or refracts light. Composite
does not have a prismatic effect but can be contoured and te0tured to mimic an enamel
appearance with similar light absorption, reflection and refraction
#urface contouring and te0turing of a composite restoration is often done even if ad9acent
enamel is smooth to match enamel, which has the influence of enamel rods prismatic
effect. 3t should be noted that often composite should be uniform in contour, non te0tured
and smooth to blend to e0isting tooth structure, however, often this result is

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Composite shaping refers to generali1ed formation of the silhouette and face of a tooth,
which includes embrasures, contacts, incisal edge, line angles, and gingival height of
contour. 3t is ideal to shape a restoration to final contour, cover the composite with
glycerin to avoid an o0ygen inhibited layer and light cure. The reality is that very few
dentists can accomplish this with composites, which prematurely thicen with ambient
light, stic to instruments or do not display proper thi0otropic .ualities
$entists most often overbuild restorations and reduce them to a proper dimension.
Techni.ues vary for class 3, class 4 and class # restorations while veneers and surface
restorations combine these techni.ues
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Composite contouring refers to shaping larger composite details within the uniform
contour of a tooth. #urface contouring provides details shaped flat, conve0 or concave.
These details are usually placed after curing of composite. They are common in class four
and veneering restorations. They are not as common in class three and five restoration.
4ight reflection on a smooth surface creates an uninterrupted white line
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#urface te0turing of composite is placement of numerous small areas of conve0ities and
concavities on a restoration surface. A youthful natural tooth enamel surface is highly
te0tured but as teeth age te0ture is lost resulting in a smooth surface. There are a variety
of surface te0tures, which result from tooth formation and aging. $ifferent techni.ues are
used for placement of te0ture depending on the re.uired results. )oals can be generali1ed
as occurs with full veneering cases or defined by remaining tooth structure of the same
tooth or ad9acent teeth

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Class three and four restorations re.uire shaping and removal of e0cess composite on the
facial, lingual and interpro0imal surfaces. !acial surfaces, which are conve0, are shaped
with sandpaper diss or polishing cups starting with coarse and proceeding to fine
polishers. The progression from coarse to fine under wet conditions minimi1es heat
generation and negative affects which can occur from composite e0pansion. 4ingual
surfaces, which are conve0 and=or concave, can re.uire sandpaper diss, polishing cups
and points, and bedew wheels. 3f reduction of large amounts of e0cess composite is
re.uired, diamond or finishing burs are used. Care must be taen to avoid heavy pressure,
which could provide sufficient trauma to separate composite material from tooth structure
at the cavosurface area. The result is a white line resulting from a gap collecting polishing
debris. 3t should be noted that a composite white line can also occur from material not
being placed fully into position or being pulled away from tooth structure during
instrumentation. The author prefers a flame shaped "% fluted :idwest *,/" for general
shaping. 6n lingual areas where a deeper concavity occurs, a fine football shaped
diamond is used
3nter pro0imal surfaces are initially shaped by slight curvature of a mylar strip prior to
light curing. !inal shaping is done with a *,/" flame shaped bur or sandpaper diss and
inter pro0imal sand paper strips
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8hen large amounts of composite is to be removed for gross reduction, fine flame
shaped diamond burs or "% fluted *,/" burs are used. !urther shaping is accomplished
with coarse polishing cups. !inal shaping is done with fine polishing cups or very soft
webbed prophy cups
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Composite veneers are shaped as if they are combinations of class 3,4 and 5 restorations.
There are many techni.ues, which can be used depending on personal preference. The
author?s preference includes, general shaping which is done with coarse sand paper diss.
!orming of definitive line angles, embrasures and gingival height of contour is done with
a %% fluted *,/" finishing bur. )ingival areas are further shaped with gray and green
polishing cups. #urface contouring is then done with medium and fine polishing
sandpaper diss
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There are many techni.ues, which produce similar and speciali1ed results.
3nstrumentation and the techni.ues, which can be done with each, define e0pected
results. 3nstrumentation to do composite surface contouring and te0turing includes
sandpaper diss, burlew wheels, *,/" flame shaped "% fluted finish bur, polishing points,
polishing cups, diamond burs and finish burs
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#andpaper diss are used to form general contours by placing the flat sandpaper surface
against a composite surface and changing the angle as it move across a conve0 surface.
To form surface lines and concave areas into composite, as occurs with lines in mamelon
areas, the edge of a sandpaper dis at appro0imately a 3/ degree angle is moved
gingivalAincisally and then moved laterally with less pressure and less angle
To form individual lines on a composite surface, a medium or fine sandpaper dis is held
at a 45Adegree angle and moved along the line. 4ess angulation forms a finer line or
indentation. A generali1ed surface te0turing, is accomplished by rapid movement bac
and forth at various locations
!ine sandpaper diss at high revolution under water or polishing paste are used for a high
gloss finish. Angling the dis allows a high gloss finish into even fine areas. !ine
sandpaper diss remove very little composite so detail is rarely lost
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-urlew wheels are used to produce detail with a relatively high polish. -urlew wheels
disintegrate .uicly so generali1ed shaping or fine line formation is difficult. They are
fine grit and remove small amounts of composite so heat generation can be high if large
amounts of composite are removed
-urlew wheels are ideal for placement of concave areas such as long indentations or spot
round indentations. The shape of the burlew wheel is easily altered against green stones
to form custom shape and si1e indentations in composite. -urlew wheels are further ideal
for fine ad9ustment of lingual occlusion

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The *,/" finishing bur is an ideal instrument to do any type of shaping dependant of the
dentist?s ability to free hand shaped. The *,/" are flame shaped with conve0 e0ternal
surfaces. The cutting conve0 surface always produces concave surfaces on composite
when moved bac and forth. :ore pressure and a deeper cut produces a larger concavity
Circular concavities are produced by moving the *,/" in a circular movement. The si1e
of the resulting dimple is dependant on pressure and depth
4ines are formed by moving the bur up and down along its long a0is. The width of a
resulting line is dependant on which part of the bur stries the composite. 3f the end of the
bur is used, a sharp line forms. 3f the middle of the bur is used, the line is more concave
matching the diameter of the middle of the bur

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)rey polishing cups produce large conve0 surfaces and are ideal for general shaping. The
side of a grey cup can be used for forming lines and some general anatomy
)reen polishing cups provide very high polish with little composite removal. They are
used to place a high gloss after use of grey polishing cups. 3n addition, green cups are
used for high polish of fine, highly te0ture surfaces. Turning the cup at a 45 degree angle,
allows polishing into fine areas. Turning the drill at different angles further allows the
green cup to enter all fine areas
&olishing points wor in the same way as cups. &olishing points, however, must be ept
pointed to allow the diameter to be as small or smaller than composite concavities or
polishing cannot occur
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$iamond burs create a generali1ed rough te0tured surface when diamonds of medium,
coarse or e0tra coarse grit are used. !ine and super fine diamonds produce little te0turing
effect but are used for some shaping. The author does not use diamonds often for shaping
but does produce generali1ed surface te0turing with them
A medium diamond creates a fine te0tured surface while a coarse diamonds creates
larger, wider lines of te0ture. Te0ture is produced by running the diamond over the entire
surface in a bac and forth motion. 2eduction of te0ture in areas or overall can be
achieved with burlew wheels, medium sandpaper or coarse grey cups and points. To
produce a high gloss after using diamonds, fine sandpaper diss or fine green polishing
cups are used

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!inish burs are used for final shaping and contouring. !inish burs have concave, conve0
or flat cutting surfaces so results vary depending on the bur. This means that each bur
must be analy1ed for shape to predict what various cutting motions will produce
!inishing burs are important to get into fine areas such as embrasures and subgingival
combined with manual gingival retraction
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