Flowable composites are versatile materials well-suited for use in a range of applications. With excellent handling properties and a lower viscosity, it's no wonder more dentists reach for a flowable during restorative procedures.
Flowable composites are versatile materials—they’re suitable for use in temporary crown repair, veneer cementation, porcelain repair, pit and fissure sealing, and they’re also used as liners and bases. More commonly, flowables are used in Class III, Class IV, and Class V restorations. These materials offer excellent handling properties.
With a lower viscosity than their composite counterparts, flowables are able to work their way into the cracks and crevices of a preparation that may be more difficult to fill with a thicker material. The lower viscosity also allows for thin layers to be placed, preventing bubbles or voids in the material.
Of course, what makes flowable composites suitable for some restorations limits their effectiveness in others. When the material was first introduced in the 1990s, it was more viscous due to its formulation. At first, manufacturers reduced the material’s filler content to about 50 to 60%. This decreased their strength and wear properties. Less filler content can also reduce the material’s mechanical properties. The early generations of flowables were also plagued by increased polymerization shrinkage.
However, newer materials typically have a higher filler content than their predecessors. Flowable composites manufactured in 2010 and later typically have a filler content that ranges from 70 to 80%. This increases the material’s wear resistance and strength, something that has steadily improved since the materials’ introduction.
A 2015 study found that flowable composites had similar clinical outcomes in Class I restorations after a 2-year recall when compared to highly filled traditional composites.
A 2018 study reached a similar conclusion—that flowables have a comparable clinical efficacy in “small- to moderate-sized occlusal restorations.”
Here, we feature 16 of the industry’s flowable composite offerings.
BRILLIANT EverGlow Flow
The submicron hybrid composite was developed specifically for shading, wear resistance, and polishability.
A duo shading system covers 2 Vita shades within a single syringe, which helps consolidate inventory and simplify shade selection.
Suited to a range of clinical applications, including initial layers in all cavity classes, direct Class V fillings, root erosion and wedge-shaped defects, and Class III and IV anterior teeth repairs.
It is available in 8 shades across 3 translucencies with an extra thin 0.4-mm needle for precise application.
This line of 3 flowables is designed to offer universal indications for use, including Class I to Class V restorations, as base and liners, and more.
Its non-hybrid technology utilizes nanoparticles that have been combined with glass-ceramic particles and a resin matrix to give the materials a filler content said to exceed conventional flowable materials.
The GrandioSO Light Flow is a 76% filled low-viscosity material. The GrandioSO Flow is an 81% filled medium-viscosity material, and the GrandioSO Heavy Flow is an 83% heavy-viscosity material that does not slump.
Utilizing Smart Chromatic Technology and uniformly sized supra-nano spherical fillers, this material is designed to match every color of tooth from A1 to D4 with a single shade of composite.
Its strength and wear resistance reportedly make it suitable for a range of indications beyond cavity lining and minor restorations, including all cases of direct anterior and posterior restorations and the repair of porcelain/composite.
This material offers increased efficiency, eliminating the need to stock multiple shades of 1 material and thereby simplifying inventory management.
It’s also said to reduce composite waste and offer cost savings to practices.
A submicron-hybrid composite, Venus Flow is extremely thixotropic, allowing it to flow into cavities homogeneously.
The material’s low viscosity and thixotropic properties make it suitable for a range of indications, including Class I, Class II, Class III, and Class V restorations, as well as repairs of direct and indirect restorations.
It also features high radiopacity, low shrinkage stress, and high flexural strength for durable restorations.
This micro-hybrid flowable composite is designed with a unique chameleon shade, ShadeFusion™, which blends and reflects adjacent hues to create a natural-looking esthetic.
Flows-Rite is suitable for a range of indications, including esthetic restorations, veneer cementation, fissure sealant, cervical repairs, and preventative resin restorations, and for use as base/liner.
It features excellent esthetics, polishability, viscosity, and handling characteristics.
It is available in shades A1, A3, A3, A3.5, B2, C2, and ShadeFusion.