The natural tooth is a perfect compromise between rigidity, resilience and solidity. Mimicking nature is one of the basic concepts of current adhesive therapeutics. In this quest for resemblance, still imperfect, materials that are supposed to replace the dentin play an essential role: restoration of the volume, stress absorption, pulp-dentin complex protection, proper sealing of the tooth-restoration interface, support of the selected enamel substitute.
The multitude of dentin substitutes available on the market combined with manufacturers marketing policies create a confusion in the practitioners’ minds. The aim of this article is to highlight the questions about the clinical interest of dentin substitutes and the inherent techniques as well as to describe the advantages and the drawbacks of the various materials.
Fully aware that the ideal material does not exist, the enlightened practitioner will have to choose the material which, in a specific therapeutic situation, will provide the best advantages/inconveniences ratio.