Convincing Performance: Performance for finishing and polishing systems is typically evaluated by measuring surface gloss, surface roughness and heat generation.
Gloss Attainment: Surface gloss or reflectance indicates how polished or shiny the surface can become after treatment. A high gloss attainment indicates a shiny, more reflective surface.The study shows Sof-Lex™ Spiral Finishing and Polishing Wheels produce a smooth gloss surface better than or equal to the industry’s leading products.
Surface Roughness: Surface roughness actually measures how rough or smooth the surface is before and after treatment. Sof-Lex™ Spiral Finishing and Polishing Wheels produce a smoother or similar surface roughness compared to the industry-leading products.
- The surface roughness can be quantified using surface profilometers. A profilometer drags a stylus over the surface. In this case, Ra (average surface roughness expressed in units of height) is the parameter reported. The lower the Ra (average surface roughness), the smoother the surface.
- SEMs can be used to observe the actual surface roughness.
- Sof-Lex™ Spiral Finishing and Polishing Wheels produce a smooth surface better than or equal to other leading products2. The left picture shows the unpolished material while the material on the right has been polished using Sof-Lex™ Spiral Finishing and Polishing Wheels.
Heat Generation: Many finishing and polishing devices generate heat during use. Manufacturers may recommend water cooling or intermittent pressure to ensure excessive heat does not build up. Sof-Lex™ Spiral Finishing and Polishing Wheels generate less heat on the surface compared to a leading rubberised system.
Gross Reduction: The purpose is to remove excess restorative material (including overhangs), to remove air-inhibited layer, and shape anatomy. The tools that are typically used for this process deliver the most aggressive abrasive (e.g., coarse grit) action in this procedure to remove the excess material quickly. The graph on the right depicts the most popular tools for Gross Reduction. Strips are also used for proximal areas.
Final Contour: The purpose of this step is to refine contours (size, shape, grooves, etc.) and margins (generating a smooth transition from tooth to restoration), re-establish contact with adjacent teeth to a normal and functional form, and reduce surface roughness. At the end of this step, the restoration should have its desired form and a smooth, clean surface. The most popular tools used for Final Contour are depicted in the graph on the right. Strips are also used for proximal areas. These tools are not as aggressive as those used for Gross Reduction (e.g., medium grit) because only small amounts of material are being removed from the restoration.
Finish Smooth surface (scratch removal): This step reduces the scratch depth and/or removes lighter scratches produced during the Gross Reduction and Final Contour steps by the more aggressive tools. This step should leave the surface smoother and sometimes is considered a pre-polish step. The tools used for this step, as depicted in the graph on the right, are less aggressive than the previous step (e.g., a fine grit). Strips are also used for proximal areas. The fine Sof-Lex™ Spiral Finishing Wheel is designed to remove scratches and smooth the surface.
High Gloss Polish: The objective of this step is to further smooth the surface to produce a high gloss shine on the restoration. The tools used for this step, as depicted in the graph on the right, are the least aggressive (e.g., super or ultra fine grits). Strips are also used for proximal areas. The superfine Sof-Lex™ Spiral Polishing Wheel produces a high gloss polish.