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International Journal of Esthetic Dentistry  (English Edition)



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Int J Esthet Dent 10 (2015), No. 2     21. Apr. 2015
Int J Esthet Dent 10 (2015), No. 2  (21.04.2015)

Page 228-245, PubMed:25874271

The scalpel finishing technique: a tooth-friendly way to finish dental composites in anterior teeth
Kup, Elaine / Tirlet, Gil / Attal, Jean-Pierre
Optimal results can be obtained on direct restorations by the application of layering procedures that combine the accurate morphological insertion of restorative materials with the knowledge of the optical and mechanical properties of both composite resin and natural hard dental tissue. Even if the finishing procedures on restorations, such as margination (the trimming of margins), are minimized by anatomical layering techniques, finishing can still be highly complicated due to a number of pre-finishing sequences using specific instruments proposed in the literature, which include finishing burs and abrasive discs. Finishing procedures performed with a scalpel on polymerized direct composite restorations can improve the quality of the final sculptured surface by developing natural contours and characteristics and by removing the excess restorative material at the tooth-structure margin. Enhanced movement control and fine fingertip perception of the surface texture while moving the scalpel blade allow the operator to detect and cut the excess composite material during the margination procedure and to refine the final anatomy. Avoiding the use of finishing burs during finishing procedures on direct composite restorations may save adjacent enamel surfaces from abrasive damage. The composite surface and margins may also benefit from using the scalpel finishing technique, considering the potential risk of excess removal and surface crazing that the improper use of finishing burs could cause to composite material. The purpose of this article is to propose and describe the scalpel finishing technique step by step, as well as to briefly discuss the advantages of its application within the limits of a clinical case report.