Composite resin plays a vital part in the daily practice of nearly every clinician. Composite is esthetic conservative and quick compared to indirect restorations and can be used in a wide variety of clinical situations.
But what about ‘pink’ composite? Is it really necessary? I believe that if you want to practice at a high esthetic level, pink composite should be a part of your armamentarium.
So what are some of the indications for the use of pink composite? First of all, I would like to start by saying that placing pink composite on exposed root surfaces, as shown below, is not the intended use.
A clinical situation such as this, is best treated with a surgical connective tissue root coverage procedure, as seen below. This case is courtesy of Dr. Jim Janakievski.
Pink composite does, however, have a variety of uses. It can be used on provisional restorations to give both the patient and the technician information on the final restorative design.
Initial, implant provisional with pink composite, definitive implant restoration with pink ceramic
Pink composite can also be used as a definitive restorative material. It can work exceptionally well to help replace a missing papilla. The benefit of using it as a definitive material is that the esthetic color match is done in the mouth, so it should be more easily made to blend with the natural tissue. In addition, if the need ever arose to re-do the papilla, the material is easy to remove and replace. In these situations, the papilla is typically the last thing that is done on the restoration prior to cementation. The restoration can be air-abraded, etched with HFl and silanated outside the mouth, while the layering of material can be done intra-orally. The final polish then can also be done outside the mouth.
Initial 3-unit FPD, definitive 3-unit FPD with a pink composite papilla between #6 and the pontic #7
Although pink composite is easily applied on multi-unit FPD restorations, both tooth and implant supported, it can also be used on single units. However, if used on a single unit, it must be remembered that the patient must still be able to easily perform conventional oral hygiene around the unit with a toothbrush and floss.
Initial with pink ceramic papilla between #7-8, definitive restoration with pink composite papilla between #7-8
Pink composite may not be something that is used in practice every day, however when the need arises, I’m glad I have it as a treatment option.
So do you use pink composite? Tell us in the comments!
Gregg Kinzer, D.D.S., M.S., Spear Faculty and Contributing Author