Posterior restoration before and after
January 19, 2021
Dr. Giuseppe Chiodera, PhD

Clinical Case: Essential Lines – A Concept for Functional and Beautiful Posterior Restorations

Drawing “essential lines” can help successfully recreate the natural appearance of teeth in restorative dentistry.

About the Case

The “essential lines” concept assumes each posterior tooth has a universal set of characteristics, or common lines. When used in combination with copying techniques, knowledge of these lines can help recreate the appearance of a tooth in restorations – especially in cases where the exact anatomy of the tooth is not available. It can also reduce the time and effort spent on creating natural-looking restorations, without compromising on quality. This concept works for all molars and premolars in the maxilla and mandible, provided the position-specific “essential lines” are used.

Drawing of essential lines found in mandibular premolars and molars

Drawing of “essential lines” found in mandibular premolars and molars.

Drawing of essential lines found in maxillary premolars and molars

Drawing of “essential lines” found in maxillary premolars and molars.

First molar amalgam replacement

First molar amalgam replacement.

Impression is made to record the anatomy of the unrestored tooth

An impression is made to record the anatomy of the unrestored tooth.

After tooth preparation

After tooth preparation.

Selective etching of enamel

Selective etching of enamel with 3M™ Scotchbond™ Universal Etchant.

After build-up of proximal composite walls using the matrix system as a guide

After build-up of proximal composite walls using the matrix system as a guide.

Prepared tooth is filled with composite

The prepared tooth is filled with 3M™ Filtek™ One Bulk Fill Restorative composite.

Occlusal anatomy is added to the uncured bulk fill composite

Occlusal anatomy is added to the uncured bulk fill composite.

Recommended essential lines to be added to the uncured composite

Recommended “essential lines” to be added to the uncured composite.

Center point of the fissures is marked on the occlusal surface

The center point of the fissures is marked on the occlusal surface.

Essential lines are drawn from the center point to the marginal ridges

The “essential lines” are drawn from the center point to the marginal ridges.

After completion of the essential lines and light curing

After completion of the “essential lines” and light curing.

Composite stain is added to the essential lines

Composite stain is added to the “essential lines” to match the esthetics of the natural dentition.

Composite restoration after finishing and polishing

Composite restoration after finishing and polishing with the 3M™ Sof-Lex™ Diamond Polishing System.

Final restorative result

Final restorative result.

Additional example of essential lines applied

Additional example of “essential lines” applied to a mandibular first molar.

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