Inside Dentistry
September 2016
Volume 12, Issue 9

TPH Spectra Universal Composite

Figure 1 | An important element impacting acceptance of esthetic composite restorations is color matching. Also referred to as the “chameleon effect,” composite blending with adjacent tooth structure is dependent on material translucency and shade, and is most pronounced in small- to moderate-sized restorations.

Most current composites consist of methacrylate resins with inorganic fillers that have a refractive index (RI) close to that of enamel and dentin.1,2 The RI is a measure of how much rays of light bend when passing from one medium to another; in this case from air to composite or tooth.3 This concept is further complicated when composite restorations are viewed under different light sources. The phenomenon where two colors appear unequal under different illuminants is called metamerism.4

The challenges of blending restorative materials with natural tooth and metamerism are complicated, but hopefully mitigated by appropriate material choices and careful shade selection. TPH Spectra has a refractive index of 1.52-1.55 whereas enamel is 1.63 and dentin is 1.54.1,5 Ideally, a restorative material that possesses both translucent properties and an appropriate refractive index should have an excellent chameleon effect and create restorations indistinguishable from natural tooth.

In order to make shade selection simpler, TPH Spectra is available in the seven most popular shades: B1, A1, A2, A3, A3.5, A4, and C2. Capitalizing on TPH Spectra’s ability to blend with surrounding tooth structure and create life-like restorations, it is possible to cover the entire VITA® range with just seven shades, helping me save more time when it comes to completing the restoration.

Efficiency is essential in my practice, and to me this means producing outstanding clinical outcomes in a reasonable time. Decreasing inventory but still achieving the indistinguishable color matching of my composite restorations makes TPH Spectra indispensable in my armamentarium.


1. Meng Z, Yao XS, Yao H, et al. Measurement of the refractive index of human teeth by optical coherence tomography. J Biomed Opt. 2009;14(3):034010.

2. Garg N, Garg A. Tooth preparation for composite restorations. In: Textbook of Operative Dentistry. New Delhi: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishing; 2010:260.

3. Refractive index. Available at: https://www.britannica.com/science/refractive-index (Accessed July 26, 2016).

4. Askary A. Fundamentals of Esthetic Implant Dentistry. 2nd ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell; 2008: 282-283.

5. Internal Dentsply Sirona data, 2016.

For more information, contact:
Dentsply Sirona Restorative

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