Development and maintenance of surface gloss of dental composites after polishing and brushing: Review of the literature

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe the effect of the composites' composition to produce high surface smoothness/gloss using finishers/polishers, and to assess maintained smoothness/gloss under toothbrush abrasion. Materials and methods: PubMed papers published from January 01, 2000 to September 01, 2021 were included, and keywords used were: filler particle size, shape, amount of dental composites; finishing/polishing, gloss/roughness, and toothbrush abrasion of composites. Seventy-five in-vitro studies were included in this literature review. Forty-six articles assessed filler particle size/composition/shape and distribution to obtain high gloss/smoothness on different formulations; and the finishers/polishers effect on these materials. Twenty-nine papers assessed toothbrush abrasion of composites. Results: Suprananofill/nanofill/microfills typically showed the smoothest and glossiest surfaces compared to nanohybrid, microhybrid and hybrid composites. Microfill (0.04–0.07 μm, 71–88 GU); suprananofill (0.001–0.8 μm, 52–92 GU), microhybrids (0.05–0.35 μm, 35–95 GU) and nanohybrids (0.05–0.21 μm, 66–97 GU). Composites with small, spherical particles tend to show smoother, glossier surfaces and more wear resistant compared to resin composites with larger or irregular particles. Several studies showed higher roughness and reduced gloss after toothbrush abrasion. Conclusions: Within the limitations of this study, suprananofill/nanofill/microfill composites tended to show the smoothest/glossiest surfaces due to smaller particle size. Composites with small, spherical particles tended to show smoother/glossier surfaces. Overall, toothbrush abrasion showed higher surface roughness and reduced gloss. Clinical Significance: Suprananofills/nanofills/microfills had good polishability and polish retention due to their smaller particle size. The effectiveness of a polishing system is material-dependent. In general, Enhance-PoGo, Sof-Lex discs, and Sof-Lex Spiral wheels showed similar level of smoothness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-41
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • filler size
  • finishing
  • polishing
  • resin composite
  • toothbrush abrasion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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