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Dental polymer composites pp.593-620 $100.00
Authors:  (Irini D. Sideridou, Laboratory of Organic Chemical Technology, Department of Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)
Dental polymer composites were introduced commercially in the mid-1960s for the
restoration of anterior teeth. Since their advent, their characteristics such as physical
properties, manipulative qualities, durability and wear resistance have improved
remarkably. As a result, they are widely used instead of amalgam. Composites make up
for the weak points of amalgam, such as toxicity from mercury content, corrosion and
low adhesive property. In addition, dental polymer composites have a better aesthetic
property than amalgam. Today they are possibly the most ubiquitous materials available
in dentistry as they are used in a huge variety of clinical applications, ranging from filling
materials, luting agents, indirect restorations and metal facings to endodontic posts and
cores. Dental polymer composites mainly have three major components: an organic
polymer matrix, inorganic filler and a coupling agent. The polymer forms the matrix of
the composite material binding the individual filler particles together through the
coupling agent. The polymer is a rigid solid which is prepared by the free-radical
polymerization of a liquid monomer or mixture of monomers. It is this ability to convert
from a plastic mass into a rigid solid that allows this material to be used for the
restoration of dentition. The most common monomers in modern dental polymer
composites are cross-linking dimethacrylates, e.g. 2,2-bis[4-(2-hydroxy-3-methacryloxypropyl)
phenyl]propane (Bis-GMA), ethoxylated Bis-GMA (Bis-EMA), 1,6-bis-[2-
methacryloxyethoxycarbony- lamino]-2,2,4-trimethylhexane (UDMA), decanediol
dimethacrylate (D3MA) or triethy-leneglycole dimethacrylate (TEGDMA). The radical
polymerization of the matrix monomers results in a three-dimensional network, in which
the filler particles are dispersed. The selection of appropriate monomers for the
formulation of a composite strongly influences the reactivity, viscosity and
polymerization shrinkage of the composite paste, as well as the mechanical properties,
water uptake and swelling of the cured composite. To ensure an adequate long shelf life
for the composite, it is essential that premature polymerization is prevented. To this end,
an inhibitor such as hydroquinone (0.1%) is included. Most dental polymer composites
are light curing composites, which harden by irradiation with visible light 400–
500nm.The properties of polymer composites are considerably influenced by the fillers
employed. According to the nature and the particle size of the filler the dental composites
have been classified into four main groups, traditional composites, microfilled
composites, hybrid or blended composites and small particle hybrid composites. 

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Dental polymer composites pp.593-620