Purpose: This case report presents a direct composite inverse injection technique using a bi-layer clear mini-index fabricated with a digital workflow to restore extensive posterior occlusal cavities in a 13-year-old patient.
Keywords: bi-layer clear mini-index, digital workflow, direct composite restoration, endodontically treated tooth, injection technique
Materials and Methods: After a root canal treatment in the right mandibular first molar and step-wise excavation of deep caries in the left mandibular first molar, the extensive occlusal restorations were digitally designed using CAD software, upon which digital wax-ups were 3D-printed. Bi-layer clear mini-indices consisting of a hard outer plastic layer and an elastic inner silicone layer were prepared from the 3D-printed cast. The bonding surfaces were deproteinized using a 6% sodium hypochlorite solution, and an antioxidant (Clearfil DC Activator; Kuraray Noritake) was utilized to improve the dentin bonding durability of a 2-step self-etch adhesive (Clearfil SE Bond 2; Kuraray Noritake). Subsequently, a highly filled universal-shade flowable resin composite (RC) was incrementally placed into the cavities. To create the final occlusal morphology, the same RC was inversely injected through the opening of the bi-layer indices.
Results: The workflow was feasible, and the occlusal cavities were efficiently restored using the injection technique. Occlusal carving and adjustments of the morphology were not necessary, leading to less chair time. At the 1-year follow-up, the clinical outcome was excellent.
Conclusion: The injection technique with a bi-layer clear mini-index accurately translated the digital wax-ups into large, final restorations. Precise morphology and shortened chair time enhanced patient satisfaction, but at the expense of multiple visits.