I’ll never forget when I had the opportunity to try my hand at a composite restoration at Dental Trade Alliance’s Mini-Dental School at the University of Colorado. After that experience, I remember thinking that in order to achieve an esthetic result with a composite, you must have natural artistic talent, which not everyone—myself included—is born with. How else would you be able to manipulate a material so skillfully for a procedure like an anterior restoration?
What I’ve learned since then is that you don’t necessarily have to be Bob Ross with a dental instrument if you have a material that lends itself to excellent handling and simple shade matching. One such material is Mosaic, a universal composite from Ultradent.
“I love using Mosaic composite not only for its excellent handling, but also because for a dentist like me who isn’t an artist, the shade system is simple, easy to follow, and when I’ve completed my restoration, you can’t distinguish between the composite restoration and the rest of the tooth when [patients] leave. They blend perfectly and the restoration is virtually undetectable,” said Dr. Shea Bess, a full-time practicing dentist and lecturer.
In fact, before he discovered Mosaic, Dr. Bess had difficulty hiding his composite, and some patients would notice it after they left his office. Now, with Mosaic, handling and shade matching are a “no-stress, easy process” and have brought his esthetic work to the next level.
By definition, a mosaic is a piece of art that’s made by assembling small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. With Mosaic universal composite, dentists assemble more than one shade—both opaque and translucent—to achieve highly esthetic, life-like results in the art of dentistry.
In a clinical guide entitled “The Opacity and Translucency Game,” Dr. Gaetano Paolone explains how shade matching with a composite resin is only part of the equation for achieving esthetic results.
“The opacity and translucency of the restorative material should be considered with equal importance, as the interplay with light affects the final result,” he explains. “A shade that is too opaque will block light and appear flat, while one that is too translucent will appear gray due to its inability to mask a dark background.”
In a case presentation using Mosaic, Dr. Paolone chooses a combination of opaque and translucent shades to mimic the same optical properties of the surrounding dentition. Watch the video below to see Dr. Paolone’s case from start to finish.
You can also learn more in Ultradent’s Quick Layering Reference Guide, which shows how to create four common shade results—bleach, young, adult and senior. In each of these cases, at least two shades are used for a highly esthetic restoration.