Product Reviews

Triodent V3 Sectional Matrix System

4 January 2016

The last several years has seen a steady relative decline in the use of amalgam as a restorative material, matched by an increase in the use of resin-based composite (‘composite’).  There are possibly several reasons for this, including patient demand, the ability to use adhesive techniques and environmental concerns regarding mercury, the last having received widespread attention through the United Nations Environment Program and the consequent Minamata Convention.

Two of the significant problems of using composite in posterior teeth are the management of polymerisation shrinkage and the establishment of anatomically correct and tight contact areas (note, not ‘points’).  The first problem can be addressed by minimising the volume of composite placed, either by using a suitable base such as glass-ionomer cement and/ or placing and curing the composite incrementally.

However, establishing good contacts requires the use of specialised matrix systems.  Traditional matrices such as the Siqveland have inadequate occlusal ‘flare’ in the gingivo-occlusal direction, and are also lacking in gingivo-occlusal convexity towards the adjacent tooth.  The Tofflemire system is somewhat better, as there is gingivo-occlusal flare because of the curved shape of the matrix strip, but heavy burnishing is required to establish the required convexity.

‘Sectional’ matrix systems are almost mandatory to achieve anatomically correct contacts.  There are several on the market, and one which the author uses is the Triodent V3 System (, available in Australia from Dentsply (  The Triodent V3 system consists of a range of thin anatomically shaped metal ‘sectional’ matrices, three sizes of contoured ‘Wave Wedge’ and three sizes of ‘Wedge Guard’ (Fig 1).  The Wedge Guard consists of a thin metal blade as an integral, but removable, part of the wedge, designed to begin tooth separation during cavity preparation and to protect the adjacent tooth (Fig 2).  Additional items are two different sized V3 rings (molar and premolar) made from nickel-titanium, with fibre-reinforced V-shaped plastic tines to separate the teeth and hold the wedge and matrix in their correct positions (Fig 3).  Cleverly designed ‘cross-over’ pin tweezers are used to pick up and place the matrices and wedges, and the V3 ring is placed using the ring forceps (Fig 4).

Like all sectional matrix systems, practice is required to use them efficiently and effectively.  It is strongly recommended to view one of the many available videos (e.g., in order to get the best from the system.  Some examples of the clinical use are available from, from which Figs 2, 5 and 6 are taken.

Prof Martin Tyas AM

Figure legends
Fig 1    Sectional matrices, Wave Wedges and Wave Guards
Fig 2    Wave Guard in use
Fig 3    V3 rings
Fig 4    Pin tweezers and forceps
Fig 5    Assembly for a premolar MOD cavity, and completed restoration
Fig 6    Assembly for premolar and molar amalgam replacement restorations, and completed restorations

This review represents the view of its author at the time of writing and does not necessarily represent the views of the Australian Dental Association. It has been written for general information only and may not be accurate, complete or current. By visiting and using this site you are agreeing to the terms & conditions and the Australian Dental Association accepts no liability resulting from improper or incorrect information.


About the author

  • Prof Martin Tyas

    Prof Martin Tyas is formerly Head of Restorative Dentistry at the Melbourne Dental School, and continues research, teaching and examining as a Professorial Fellow.  His main interest is in adhesive dental restorative materials and their evaluation and has published over 200 papers in the field.  Prof Tyas has taught several posterior composite courses using the Triodent V3 system.  In 2009 he was elected to Life Membership of the Australian Dental Association in recognition of national and international service to dentistry, and in 2009 was invested a member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.