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Int J Esthet Dent. 2017;12(4):450-466.

The "index cutback technique": a three-dimensional guided layering approach in direct class IV composite restorations.


One of the main difficulties encountered with conventional class IV direct composite restorations is the layering management in terms of three-dimensionality and shape control. The major concern is the predictability of the esthetic outcome, which is closely linked to the clinician's skills. This article presents a predictable approach to treat class IV direct composite restorations. The technique allows for the shape and thickness of different composite layers to be guided through transparent indexes that have been carried out previously on a planned wax-up. The final goal is to achieve a good esthetic outcome in an easy and fast way through a copy-and-paste approach. The "index cutback technique" is a complementary variant of the "index technique" for class IV direct restorations. After the casts have been generated, the technician creates a full wax-up of the tooth to be restored. A transparent silicone key of the full wax-up provides the full enamel index that is then cut with a blade along the incisal edge to achieve two enamel indexes, one palatal and one buccal. Then, the required amount of wax is removed from the full wax-up through a cutback step. The aim of this step is to remove a suitable amount of wax to leave a predetermined space for the composite enamel layers, both on the palatal and buccal surfaces. A second transparent silicone key is built on the cutback wax-up to achieve the cutback dentin index, which is then used to press the composite dentin onto the prepared tooth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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