“ In recent years, the progress made in operational techniques and the continuous improvement of the physical, chemical and mechanical characteristics of reconstruction materials have made it possible for dentists to focus their attention on the constant pursuit of the best aesthetic restoration results. Patients asking for aesthetic restorations want them to integrate with their natural teeth. Dentists, therefore, should not only rely on scientifically validated techniques to restore dental biology but also be guided by their sense for aesthetics in order to reproduce the polychromatic and anatomical characteristics of teeth, so that restorations are ultimately unnoticeable. In philosophical terms, the word ‘aesthetics’ indicates the “science of beauty, liberal arts and gnoseology, closely related to logics”, i.e. the beauty and outward appearance of something. In dentistry, a restoration is aesthetic when it best matches the color, shape and function of what it replaces.
The physiological behavior of teeth, in fact, is the result of a close interaction between mechanical, biological, functional and aesthetic properties. This is where composite inlays come into play.
The current composite resin formulations have improved the characteristics of materials through the size, shape, concentration and type of filler used.
Shrinkage caused by curing has been reduced while tensile and flexural strength as well as resistance to abrasion and long term color stability have increased.
Add to all this the benefits of high power curing lights, in combination with heat and pressure, that improve the quality of the polymerization reaction.
In recent years, two factors, at least, have contributed to the development of aesthetic inlays/onlays:
– continuous innovation in enamel-dentin adhesives, which provide a high bond strength of the composite to dentin and enamel
– and an increased and constant request for aesthetic restorations on the part of patients. “
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