Like most technological advancements in dentistry, composites have continued to evolve to the point where one product may be all that is needed to provide most direct restorations in the dental practice. Universal direct composites were developed to simplify the process of delivering highly esthetic and durable direct restorations while reducing inventory and offering patients the most natural-looking esthetics possible.
To meet these demands, a universal direct composite needs to be many things:
• easy to handle and sculpt
• compatible with conventional bonding agents and procedures
• provide long working time
• highly polishable and translucent with enough opacity to blend with enamel
• exhibit low shrinkage
• appropriate for both anterior and posterior restorations
• offer a variety of shades
• resistant to fracture, marginal discoloration, and wear
• useful for repairing enamel and incisal defects, provisionals, and porcelain restorations
• suitable for occlusal and core build-ups.
This list is a tall order for any one product, not to mention product category. As a result, there are many universal direct restoratives, which can lead to some confusion. You’ll encounter hybrid and nanohybrid universals, different types of fillers, a variety of delivery and curing options, and several etching technique options.
The Dental Product Shopper direct restorative materials/universal category page is a good place to start sorting through the characteristics of universal composites and matching them up to your esthetic restorative needs and technique preferences. You’ll find product descriptions, articles, user ratings, customer reviews, and more useful information to help find your ideal product.