Dental Composite Instructions

Written by yashekia king
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Dental Composite Instructions
Putting composite resin on patient's teeth helps them maintain their white smiles. (Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Dental composite resin is becoming the most widely accepted cavity-filling material by dentists because it mimics the natural tooth colour, unlike traditional silver-coloured -- or amalgam -- fillings. Composite resins can easily be shaped to a tooth's anatomy, although they generally are not as strong as amalgam fillings. Filling a tooth with dental composite resin requires accurate timing and manual dexterity.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Shade guide
  • Gauze
  • Cotton rolls
  • Etchant
  • Light-protected wells
  • Brushes
  • Clock
  • Air-water syringe
  • Bonding agent
  • Composite resin syringe
  • Composite resin placement instrument
  • Curing light
  • Slow-speed hand piece
  • Rubber cup
  • Petroleum jelly
  • High-speed hand piece
  • Finishing burr
  • Floss

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  1. 1

    Select the shade of composite resin you want to use. Hold up a shade guide against one of the patient's teeth near the tooth you want to fill, and choose the shade closest to the patient's natural tooth colour. Do this in natural lighting instead of under a fluorescent light bulb, which can make the tooth's natural appearance look different.

  2. 2

    Wipe the tooth to be filled with composite resin using a gauze. This removes plaque and other debris from the area. Dry the tooth slightly, and position cotton rolls around the tooth to keep the site dry during the procedure.

  3. 3

    Apply an etchant material to the surface of the tooth surface you will fill. Use a well to hold the etchant and a brush to paint it on. Leave the etchant on the tooth for 30 seconds. Rinse the etchant material away and dry the tooth for 15 to 30 seconds.

  4. 4

    Put bonding agent on the area you etched. Use a well to hold the bonding agent and a brush to apply it. Lightly air-thin the bonding agent with an air-water syringe.

  5. 5

    Express a dab of composite resin material from a single-paste, lightproof syringe in a light-protected well. Use a composite resin placement instrument to apply a chunk of the composite resin material to the prepared tooth, and light-cure this chunk for about 30 seconds using a curing light. Apply the next increment of composite resin material and light-cure the material again. Continue doing this until the entire tooth preparation is filled with the composite resin, shaping the restoration as you go to look like the patient's original tooth.

  6. 6

    Polish the composite resin material using a slow-speed hand piece and rubber cup dipped in petroleum jelly. Use a high-speed hand piece with a finishing burr to remove excess material from the restoration. Glide floss between the teeth in the area of the composite resin restoration to make sure you have maintained adequate space between the teeth.

Tips and warnings

  • Some manufacturers offer a gel etchant in a syringe.

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