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Dentistry/Types of composite fillings



Can you please explain the difference between a flowable and stackable composite filling and how each is used to fill a tooth that had a cavity?

Thank you!

Although not all dentists employ these types of composites the same way, I use them for specific applications.

Flowable composites have a lower viscosity and are slightly less filled with inorganic fillers. They are great at wetting the internal of filling preparations. I use them as a liner or to in fill the nooks and crannies of cavity preparations. Then I employ either a hybrid or a microfilm composite over these, since they usually experience less wear when exposed to the oral environment. Plowable, when used to fill a surface that will be exposed to the oral environment can experience more wear over time. Some dentists also employ them to fill in any small voids that can be present in a composite restorations surface.

'Stackable' refers to the property of some higher viscosity composites to hold their shape when placed and not be runny. The dentist can then gently compress these using a plugger into the cavity preparation.


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Lawrence Spindel DDS,


Cosmetic Dentistry, Endodontics, General Dentistry, Preventive Dentistry, Comprehensive Dental Care


Former Clinical Instructor of Comprehensive Dentistry, and Prosthodontic Department New York University School of Dentistry. Also former instructor of Preventive Dentistry Columbia University School of Dentistry.

Ask Dr Spindel Dental Blog also numerous articles on (over 100 pages of original content)

1980 DDS New York University College of Dentistry 1981 GPR Manhattan VA Hospital

Awards and Honors
OKU 1980 Honor Society 1980 Long Island Academy of Odontology award for highest combined Academic and Clinical Achievement.
In 1997 he was elected to Fellowship into the International Academy for Dental Facial Esthetics

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