Extra Low Shrinkage

els flow (extra low shrinkage) is indicated as a base in class 1 and 2 restorations, for class 5 restorations, slot cavities and extended fissure sealing. It's unique chemistry is free of HEMA and TEGDMA.


At least one of, and sometimes both, HEMA (a monomer) and TEGDMA (a co-monomer) is added to virtually all composites and dental adhesives on the market: HEMA to improve cross-linking and TEGDMA as a dilutent to improve handling. It has been shown that HEMA and TEGDMA are released from composites after curing and studies have shown that TEGDMA and HEMA are damaging to human cells at even sub-toxic levels. (1, 2)

els flow is free of HEMA and TEGDMA, and as a result there are no compounds available to be released into the tissues.

(1) Paranjpe, A., Borbador, L.C.F., Wang, M., Hume, W.R., and Jewett, A. Resin Monomer 2-Hydroxyethyl Methacrylate (HEMA) is a Potent Inducer of Apoptic Cell Death in Human and Mouse Cells. J Dent Res 84(2):172-177, 2005

(2) Schweikl, H., Spagnuolo, G., and Schmalz, G. Genetic and Cellular Toxicology of Dental Resin Monomers. J Dent Res 85(10): 870-877, 2006

Physical properties

  • Light-curing
  • Radiopaque
  • Minimum water absorption (hydrophobic)
  • Minimum water solubility
  • Low shrinkage stress
  • Vital shades
  • High shade stability
  • Easily polished to an excellent high luster

Available shades

A1, A2, A3 op, A3.5/B4, A4, B1, C2, SW

The things you can't see

“C-Factor” and its impact on direct composite restorations

All light cured composites change in two ways when polymerized:

1) they create a stress or contraction force
2) their volume changes (shrinks)

The contraction stress and volumetric shrinkage created can lead to dentin adhesion weakening or failures, post-op sensitivity and, in the worst cases, tooth fractures. The ideal material will minimize both these factors in order to prevent possible problems and composite layering techniques have been developed to help offset the potential for problems.

The extent of the challenges in dealing with composite curing is further impacted by the cavity configuration, or what is called “C-Factor”. C-Factor is defined as a ratio and is the ratio of the bonded surface area to the unbonded or free surface area in a cavity preparation. This ratio becomes largest in box-like cavities (Class I), where there are five bonded walls and only one free surface. The ratio is the least when there are no surrounding walls and only one bonded surface. Actual C-Factor values are, in increasing value, 0.2, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0 and 5.0. The higher the C-Factor ratio the greater the potential negative impact due to volumetric shrinkage and contraction stress.

Most dentists have dealt with the paradox of completing a large Class II MODBL filling (lowest C-Factor) fully expecting sensitivity and getting none, and completing a Class I filling (highest C- Factor) and being surprised by post-op sensitivity. In fact they should not be surprised as it's in the Class I and Class III fillings (high C-Factor) where the negative impacts of composite shrinkage and contraction stress are the greatest.

Composite Behavior and Adhesion

Good adhesion to dentin is one of the keys in ensuring the long-term viability of direct placement composites. When thinking of adhesion to dentin it helps to think of Velcro for purposes of analogy. Dentin behaves like the fuzzy portion of Velcro (the loupes) and the dental adhesive behaves like the rough part of Velcro (the hooks). The dental adhesive “adheres” to the dentin - there is no chemical bonding occurring.

Adhesion to shallow dentin is more predictable as there is a greater surface area of dentin available to which to adhere. In deeper dentin the tubules are larger, reducing the available surface area and thereby reducing overall “bond” strengths.

els sem1

Shallow Dentin
els sem2

Deep Dentin

Therefore it's in deep cavity preparations where the impacts of volumetric shrinkage and contraction stress are felt the most. Force generated during the polymerization of the composite have the potential to weaken adhesion of the adhesive/composite to the dentin, potentially leading to post-op sensitivity and bond failures. (3, 4)

(3) Boaro, L., Goncalves, F., Guimaraes, T., Ferracane, J., Pfeifer, C., and Braga, R. Sorption, solubility, shrinkage and mechanical properties of “low shrinkage” commercial resin composites. Dental Materials 29: 398-404, 2013.

(4) Pitel, M. Low-Shrink Compiste Resins: A Review of Their History, Strategies for Managing Shrinkage, and Clinical Significance. Compendium 34(8): 578- 588, September 2013.

els flow Physical Advantages

No other flowable composites on the market have the exceptional combination of low contraction stress and low volumetric shrinkage shown by els flow.

Contraction stress after 30 minutes (MPa)

els flow has the lowest contraction stress of any material available.

els flow low contraction stress

(Values by ACTA, Amsterdam, 2014-2015)

Volumetric shrinkage (vol. %)

els flow is the best in its class when it comes to volumetric shrinkage.

els flow low shrinkage

(Values by ACTA, Amsterdam, 2014-2015)

Regression plot: shrinkage stress, volumetric shrinkage after 30 minutes

The regression plot shown here shows that els has significantly better performance when both factors are taken into consideration.

Using els and els flow will increase the chances of success in direct placement restorations, especially in those with a high C-Factor.

(Values by ACTA, Amsterdam, 2014-2015)

Trademarks of their respective manufacturers
els acta graphic
ena hri Like NATURE does it!
els Extra Low Shrinkage composite
ena hri flow “No Bubbles” Formulation
els flow Extra Low Shrinkage flowable composite
els flow Bulk fill flowable composite
artiste nano composite Nano composite
simile Nano-hybrid composite
alert Condensable composite
fusio Self-etch flowable composite
flow-it Flowable composite
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