How long have materials scientists sought a dental composite that doesn shrink during the polymerization process?
Bowman: From day one. Dr. Rafael Bowen introduced the first effective resin-based dental composite in the 1960s. It consisted of a methacrylate monomer system and silica powder as the filler material that bonds to and stabilizes the polymer. Methacrylate is a resin that is derived from methacrylic acid. Today, although the filler materials have evolved considerably, most dentists still use commercial dental composites that utilize Bowen’s original methacrylate monomer system or a close derivative thereof. There certainly are other fine monomer systems on the market or under development. But the problem of matrix shrinkage remains unsolved.