Resin glazes started out as materials that were merely an alternative way to imparting a gloss on provisional restorations. But the latest versions can actually be used on definitive restorations. Certainly applying them to provisionals is still an important use, but using them judiciously intraorally can definitely take the pressure off achieving a high polish for every restoration.
NOTE While some of these products may still require curing with a halogen light, they are few and far between. However, it is still prudent that before trying to cure them with an LED, please check their commentaries.
Use on Provisionals
Polishing provisionals always seems to be a rushed procedure, somewhat like an afterthought. This task usually comes at the end of the appointment when the local anesthetic may be wearing off and the next patient has already been seated in an adjoining treatment room. While bis-acryl composites and acrylic can be polished reasonably well (especially for non-critical posterior areas) and quickly using a polishing brush, an enamel-like gloss still requires more time and effort. These products eliminate the polishing step and allow you to create a high shine with very little effort. They can also fill surface voids and mend seams that may appear when a repair or add-on is done. In addition, they can facilitate provisional cement removal.
After contouring and smoothing, scrub provisional with soapy water using a toothbrush to remove any grinding debris. Dry well, dispense material directly onto a disposable brush or into a dappen dish and apply a thin coating to the provisional. Cure for 20-40 seconds depending on the power of your light.
Use on Definitive Restorations
While polishing a restoration is still the best protocol, applying a glaze can come in handy if you are pressed for time. Just be aware that, despite the claims from manufacturers, we have not found that these products will maintain a gloss beyond several months. They also have a tendency to stain, especially in the mouths of patients who smoke, eat deeply colored foods such as berries, and drink dark beverages such as red wine, coffee, and tea.
After contouring, smoothing, and cleaning the restoration, dry well and apply a thin coating. If you are sealing the margins, you typically would etch with phosphoric acid before application, although there is at least one product with an adhesion promoter built in and etching instrumented enamel is probably not necessary. Cure for 20-40 seconds depending on the power of your light.
Criteria for Material Selection
All of these materials can be applied to provisionals, but only a few are indicated for intraoral use. There are subtle differences between them, with the most obvious distinguishing criteria being:
Viscosity If the material is very thin, it will not obliterate any surface anatomy you may have created. On the other hand, if you have surface voids, a thicker material will be more beneficial.
Dispenser Only currently available in bottles, which means the type of bottle can make a difference.
Cost With the products being quite similar, cost can become the bottom line.