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Discover the art and science of composite restorations

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Take your dental practice to the next level.

Transform your procedures with 3M Direct Restorative Solutions: a full portfolio engineered to enhance performance, profitability and patient satisfaction – every step of the way.

Each proven product is designed to further elevate the consistent high quality of your restorations, conquer common procedure challenges, and chart a route to greater profitability for your practice. Harness the power of 3M science, from our globally trusted universal adhesive that virtually eliminates post-operative sensitivity … to the true nanotechnology of our wear-resistant composites … and our innovative tri-calcium phosphate (TCP) ingredient that contains the building blocks of healthy teeth.

3M Direct Restorative Solutions also brings together two innovative partners: Bluelight, with easy, routine testing for curing lights; and Bioclear Matrix Systems, for intuitive and minimally invasive dentistry with spectacular results.

3M Direct Restorative Solutions

Shade Selection
  • shade selection icon

    Matching a patient’s tooth shade can be tricky – but it’s the real trick to creating a restoration your patient will love. By carefully controlling key variables – and choosing a dental composite that aligns with your shade guide and technique – you can help ensure a better match.

    Set yourself up for success with simplified shade matching using composites formulated to match the VITA® Classical Shade Guide:

    • 36 shades, including 8 “go-to” body shades
    • 4 opacities: Body, Dentine, Enamel, Translucent
    • Body shades formulated to match VITA® Classical Shade Guide
    • For highly aesthetic single-shade and multi-shade restorations
    • 8 designer body shades + Extra White (XW) cover the 19 VITA Classical and Bleach shades
    • 1 universal opacity helps shades to blend with surrounding dentition
    • For simpler single-shade restorations
  • Shade selection tips for success

    • Select your shade in natural light.
    • Dehydrated teeth lighten in colour, so take the shade as quickly as possible before isolating. Don’t stare too long; let your eyes rest.
Technique Selection
  • Technique selection icon

    With every restoration, you balance many factors: the size of the restoration, the colour and translucency of the patient’s teeth, the patient’s desire for aesthetics, and your practice’s productivity. At the same time, patients and practitioners alike are more motivated than ever to limit the unnecessary removal of healthy tooth structure. In every case, one factor remains constant: careful material selection and attention to detail pay off.

  • Scenario: Single-shade restorations

    • 80% of direct restorations
    • Posterior restorations and small anterior restorations without stains or discolouration
    • Monochromatic teeth that don’t require layers to match surrounding dentition
  • Scenario: Multi-shade restorations

    • 20% of direct restorations
    • Teeth with stains or dark dentition
    • Polychromatic teeth
    • Highly characterised teeth
  • Blocking out dark dentition

    Dark spots under a new restoration aren’t just an aesthetic problem: down the road, they can make other practitioners suspect secondary caries. Don’t risk patient satisfaction and unnecessary rework: block out dark dentition every time with 3M™ Filtek™ Universal Restorative, Pink Opaquer.

Adhesive Application
  • Adhesive vial and single dose icon

    In 2011, 3M introduced the first universal adhesive to simplify adhesive application and give you greater confidence in bond reliability. Today, there are more options than ever – but choosing the right adhesive doesn’t have to be complicated.

  • Why use a universal adhesive?

    • Streamline your inventory and standardise your adhesive procedures
    • Save time with one-step, one-coat application
    • Reliable bond strength with multiple substrates
    • Read the article: What you need to know about dental adhesives
    • First radiopaque universal adhesive
    • Bonds and seals caries affected dentine to support minimally invasive dentistry
    • Gold standard adhesion to all dental substrates
    • Virtually no post-op sensitivity
  • radiopaque (left) vs. radiolucent (right) dental adhesive comparison

    Build confidence in a new adhesive

    How can you trust a new adhesive or predict how it will perform in the future? By looking at its evolution. Our clinically proven original formulation, 3M™ Scotchbond™ Universal Adhesive, was the industry’s first truly universal adhesive. It has also become the most researched, with 5+ years of published clinical studies and 400+ peer-reviewed^ scientific publications^: Read the clinical booklet (PDF 1.0 MB)

    Now, Scotchbond Universal Plus Adhesive offers all the benefits of its predecessor – with new levels of control and predictability.

    ^Scopus database search, July 1st 2021

Composite Placement
  • Dental composite capsule icon

    Whether you are placing incrementally in the anterior or bulk filling in the posterior, finding the right balance of aesthetics and efficiency is important. Innovations such as true nanotechnology, low-stress monomers and composite warming can help you create restorations that look and wear like natural teeth.

  • Anterior Aesthetics

  • Posterior Bulk-Filling

    • Increase productivity by reducing placement time by 50–60% for Class I and Class II restorations. Read the article to learn more.
    • Simplify posterior restorations with one-step placement.
  • Benefits of composite warming

    Warmed composites are more fluid, enabling easier handling and requiring lower extrusion force when dispensing. Warming may also improve adaptation to the tooth structure, resulting in fewer voids and gaps. 3M has conducted extensive testing to ensure that our composites are both safe and effective when warmed. Download the flyer (PDF, 1.03 MB) to learn more about warming Filtek dental restoratives.

Light Curing
  • curing light icon

    Every step is important to ensure lasting restorations, but perhaps no single step is as critical as light curing. If your light isn’t calibrated or functioning properly, you could be under-curing or over-curing without realising it. A high-performance light, routine monitoring and a curing light checklist can help you achieve a consistent cure – and avoid costly rework.

    • Predictable, reliable cure, even at the bottom of the proximal box
    • Uniform light distribution at clinically relevant distances
    • Good depth of cure even when light positioning is difficult
    • Composite fracture
    • Debonding and discolouration
    • Post-op sensitivity

    The risks of over-curing

    • Overheating and pulp damage
    • Increased shrinkage
  • Bluelight CheckMARC device and app screen

    Be sure of your perfect cure

    Every brand and shade of composite and/or adhesive require a specific output of blue light in order to fully polymerise - which means a major portion of your restorative business depends on the reliable performance and calibration of your curing light.

    To learn more about it, start with a free CheckMARC Curing Light Test to provide you independant evidence-based information. Request for your local 3M representative to visit your Clinic to test your curing lights and bring you up to speed with valuable knowledge about the performance of your curing lights in clinically relevant scenarios and to help to optimise your protocols.

    Request a call about checkMARC

Finishing & Polishing
  • contouring disc icon

    Natural-looking anatomical shapes and a high-gloss polish: the most time-consuming parts of the direct procedure can be the most critical for long-term aesthetic results. Fine-tune your technique and use a streamlined system to make your restorations blend invisibly with the surrounding dentition – and help ensure long-lasting results your patients will love.

    • Full line of discs and strips, from gross reduction and contouring to finishing and high-gloss polishing
    • Conformable and easy to use
    • Pop-on discs make change-outs quick and easy
    • Create a high-gloss polish without the messy paste, in just two steps
    • Unique, flexible shape adapts to all tooth surfaces and can be used from any angle
    • Spiral shape is kind to gingival tissues and helps maintain the integrity and anatomy of your restorations
  • polished surface of Filtek restorative reflecting Sof-Lex diamond polishing wheel

    Tips for long-term colour stability

    • Smooth surfaces are less likely to attract biofilm*
    • Use the right speed and pressure for your handpiece – too much can remove the anatomy you’re trying to create

    Tips for maximising composite aesthetics

    • Choose a true nanocomposite for natural-looking result and polish retention
    • Ensure a proper light cure

    Fine Tune Your Final Finish

    Finishing and polishing are more than just the final touch: these steps are key to bringing out the best in your restoration. When you hit all the right notes during the procedure, you help ensure beautiful results that last.

    Read the article

  • shield icon

    Patients who have had one cavity are already at risk for more. After your restorative work is finished, it’s important to help protect against secondary caries. And that starts by talking with your patients about their increased risk of caries – and by exploring both in-office and at-home fluoride treatments. The Australian Dental Association recommends that people with moderate to high risk of caries receive a fluoride varnish professional fluoride up to 4 times per year.¹ For teenagers, adults and older adults who are at elevated risk of developing caries, dental professional or trained health professional advice should be sought to determine if they should use toothpaste containing a higher concentration (5 mg/g or 5000 ppm) of fluoride.²

1. (accessed 2/9/21)
2.Do, L. G., & Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health. (2020). Guidelines for use of fluorides in Australia: update 2019. Australian dental journal, 65(1), 30-38.
Map pin icons with composite shades, dental tools and dental adhesive
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Learn the art and science of composite restorations


Meet our partners.

  • The Bioclear™ Method is a revolutionary approach to restorative dentistry. It is based on injection molding using warmed 3M™ Filtek™ Dental Restoratives and the principle that healthy tissue should be preserved as much as possible. The Bioclear Method combines innovative materials with intuitive methods to treat black triangles, Class II restorations and more – transforming a complex process into predictable success and amazing results.

  • 3M and Bluelight partnered to bring you the evidence-based information you need to be confident in the predictable performance of your curing light, specifically for the restorative materials used in your clinic. Have a trained representative evaluate your curing light materials and protocols.

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