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Complex Amalgam


Complex Amalgam Restoration

Complex amalgam restorations

involve replacement of missing tooth
structure because of teeth have been
fractured or involved with caries or
existing restorations. It involves
replacement of one or more missing
cusps, and often requires bonding


Large amounts of tooth structure are missing

One or more cusps need capping
Increased resistance and retention forms are needed

Pins, slots, grooves and boxlike forms provide

resistance form
Used as control restorations in teeth with pulpal or
periodontal prognosis
Used as control restorations in teeth with caries
Used as definitive restorations
Used as build up or foundation


Resistance and retention forms

Status and prognosis of tooth
Role of the tooth in overall
treatment plan

Resistance and retention forms

Retention features depend on amount of

remaining tooth structure and the tooth
being restored
More tooth structure is lost = more
auxiliary retention is needed

Status and prognosis of tooth

Caries activity, endodontic therapy

Control restoration:


Protects pulp from oral cavity and insults

Provides anatomic contour
Facilitates control of caries and plaque
Provides resistance against fracture

Role of the tooth in overall

treatment plan

Tx. Choice for tooth is influenced by its

role in overall tx. Plan
Remember: in the clinic do not just look
at the tooth but consider its role and


Interim restorations for teeth that

require occlusal alterations


Metallic appearance


Less expensive and less time

consuming than cast restoration


Patient has significant occlusal

Tooth cannot be restored with direct
restoration because of
anatomic/functional considerations

tooth structure
-Appointment time:
one appointment
-Resistance and
retention forms

DISADVANTAGESPinholes and pin

placement: Dentinal
-Microleakage (from
cavity varnish)
-Decreased strength
-Resistance form is
harder to achieve
-Penetration into pulp
and perforation into
external tooth

Pin-retained amalgam restorations

=any restoration requiring placement of one or more

pins in the dentin for resistance and retention forms

Pins are used when resistance and retention forms

cannot be achieved with slots/locks/or undercuts

Pins for Class IV restorations rare: small size of

anterior teeth

Pins have greater retention

However, can be considered for Class IV on the distal

surface (distoincisal corner) of canine when restored
with amalgam

Alternative to pin: Lingual dovetail

Slot-retained amalgam restorations

= retention groove in dentin whose

length is in horizontal plane

Prepared with 33 or round bur

May be used as an alternative to pinretained or in conjunction with pinretained

Retention differences between pins and slots are not significant


-Pin is usually used in

preparations with few
or no vertical walls


-Slots are usually

indicated in short
clinical crowns and
cusps that have been
reduced 2-3 mm for

-More tooth structure

is removed

-Less likely to create

microfractures in

-Less likely to

Amaglam foundations

=an initial restoration of severely

involved tooth; tooth is restored so
restorative material serves in lieu of
tooth structure to provide retention
and resistance during final cast


Pin-retained amalgam

Development of resistance form depth cuts Cusp reduction

Final restoration
If the cusp to be capped is located at correct occlusal height
before preparation, depth cuts should be made on existing
occlusal surface of cusp to be capped

Carbide fissure bur

Depth of cuts should be a minimum of 2 mm deep for functional cusps
and 1.5 mm deep for nonfunctional cusps (p 814)
If unreduced cusp is at less than correct height, then cuts will be less.
The goal is to have at least 2 mm of amalgam thickness for functional
cusps and 1.5 mm of amalgam for nonfunctional cusps during final
Rounded internal angles
Opposing vertical walls should converge occlusally to enhance retention

Gingival seat

Remove infected carious dentin

CaOH liner and resin-modified glass ionomer base can
be applied

It should not extend closer than 1 mm to slot or pin

Pin types

Self threading pin is most commonly used pin and most

retentive of the three types of pins (self-threadings,
cemented pins, friction locked pins)

Cemented pin is the least retentive

Pin hole: 0.0015 to 0.004 in. smaller than diameter of

Pin drilled into dentin; may generate stress when
See powerpoint for factors affecting retention of pin in
dentin and amalgam

Problems and failures of pinretained restorations

Failure can occur within the restoration

At the interface between pin and restorative material
Within the pin
At the interface between pin and dentin
Within the dentin
Pin may break during bending if not careful

Choose an alternate location at least 1.5 mm remote

from broken pin to prepare another hole
Removal is difficult

Loose pin (example: as in self-threading pins

sometimes do not engage in dentin; during
Penetration into pulp and perforation of external
tooth surface

Slot-retained amalgam

Slots are usually placed on facial/lingual/mesial/distal

aspects of preparation
They may be continuous or segmented
It depends on amount of missing tooth structure and
where pins are used
Shorter slots = more resistance to horizontal forces
No. 33 bur used to place slot in gingival floor and
No. 169L bur
0.5 mm axial of DEJ
Depth is at least 0.5 mm
Length is at least 1 mm or more

Amalgam foundations

Tooth preparation depends on type of

retention selectedpin retention; slot
retention or chamber retention
(endodontic therapy)

Pin retention

For broken down teeth with few or no

vertical walls
For foundations, pinholes are further
distance from external surface of tooth;
this is the main difference between use
of pins for foundation and use of pins for
definitive restorations

Slot retention

Placed in gingival floor of preparation

with No. 33 bur
Placed farther inside DEJ than for
conventional amalgam preparations
Depth is usually 0.5-1.0 mm and 2.0
4.0 mm long

Chamber retention

This is recommended when:

Dimension to pulp chamber is sufficient to

give retention and bulk amalgam
Dentin thickness in region of pulp chamber
is enough to provide rigidity and strength

There is an extension into root canal

space 2-4 mm (when pulp chamber
height is 2 mm or less; anything greater
gives no advantage)

The end