Visually acceptable gloss threshold for resin composite and polishing systems

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: The objective of this study was to compare dentists’ perceptions of gloss values of composite specimens with increased levels and to identify the gloss value considered to be clinically acceptable. Methods: Disk-shaped composite specimens were finished and polished 3 ways: metallurgically using silicon carbide papers and alumina paste, manually using Enhance finisher and PoGo polisher (EP) (Dentsply Sirona), and manually using Sof-Lex (SLex) disks (3M). Specimens were produced with surface gloss ranging from 0 through 100 gloss units (GU) in increments of approximately 10 GU as measured with a glossmeter. A GU of 0 was nonglossy, and a GU of 100 was perfectly glossy. Ten dentists evaluated the specimens, ranking them in order from low to high gloss and in 4 groups: low (dull or rough), medium (moderate gloss, clinically unacceptable), high (glossy, clinically acceptable), and superior gloss. The authors performed Spearman correlation analysis (α = 0.05). Results: For each finish and polish method, there was an excellent correlation between the machine-measured (actual) gloss ranks and the clinician-evaluated gloss ranks (r2 ≥ 0.95). There was no difference in perception of surface gloss of the composite when metallurgically polished (with silicon carbide papers and alumina paste) or polished with EP to the same GU. There was a slight difference in gloss perception when comparing the 2 different commercial polishing systems. Conclusions: Ten dentists consistently perceived gloss of 40 through 50 GU as clinically acceptable. However, the composite was considered clinically acceptable at a lower gloss (40 GU) when polished with SLex disks than when polished with EP or metallurgically (50 GU). Practical Implications: Gloss values of 40 through 50 GU are considered to be clinically acceptable for resin composites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-392
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Resin composite
  • finishing and polishing
  • gloss
  • glossmeter
  • polishing systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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