Class two fillings. Bread and butter dentistry.

We place them all day every day. So we better make sure we do a good job for our patients. And one of the most crucial parts of the class two filling is ensuring there is no overhang.

I, like most of you, use sectionals for most of my restorative work. They work well and give a reliable contact and marginal adaption. However, as with all matrix systems, sometimes they just don't fit right straight out of the box.

Upper first premolars have a canine fossa, lower first molars have a figure eight shaped mesial root. When trying to place a class two in either of these situations a wedge and matrix will leave a small space staring you in the face. Place your composite as is and you're asking for early failure.

This is probably the most useful tip I have picked up over the years

There is a very simple fix and this is probably the most useful tip I have picked up over the years. Simply roll up about an inch of teflon and pack it between the matrix and wedge with a flat plastic. Place your ring and you are ready to go. Common problem, simple solution. I use this all the time.

Be Warned

Be careful placing the teflon, if you're not careful you can pack it at the contact level and then you'll be cursing me when you have to reprep and fill to get a good contact. Make sure the teflon doesn't disturb the contact!

David is a recent graduate dentist working in private practice in regional NSW, Australia. Read more at

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