Indexed on: 09 Feb '12Published on: 09 Feb '12Published in: Operative dentistry
The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of previous enamel etch and light emitting diode (LED) curing on gap formation of self-etch adhesive systems in Class I composite restorations after thermomechanical aging (TMA). Thus, on 192 human molars, a box-shaped Class I cavity was prepared maintaining enamel margins. Self-etch adhesives (Clearfil SE and Clearfil S3) were used to restore the preparation with a microhybrid composite. Before application of the adhesives, half of the teeth were enamel etched for 15 seconds with 37% phosphoric acid; the other half were not etched. For the photoactivation of the adhesives and composite, three light-curing units (LCUs) were used: one polywave (Ultra-Lume LED 5, UL) and two single-peak (FlashLite 1401, FL and Radii-cal, RD) LEDs. After this, epoxy resin replicas of the occlusal surface were made, and the specimens were submitted to TMA. New replicas were made from the aged specimens for marginal adaptation analysis by scanning electron microscopy. Data were submitted to Kruskal-Wallis and Wilcoxon tests (α=0.05). Before TMA, when enamel was etched before the application of S3, no gap formation was observed; however, there were gaps at the interface for the other tested conditions, with a statistical difference (p≤0.05). After TMA, the selective enamel etching previous to the S3 application, regardless of the LCU, promoted higher marginal adaptation compared to the other tested groups (p≤0.05). Prior to TMA, higher marginal integrity was observed, in comparison with specimens after TMA (p≤0.05). With regard to Clearfil SE and Clearfil Tri-S cured with FL, no differences of gap formation were found between before and after aging (5.3 ± 3.8 and 7.4 ± 7.5, respectively), especially when the Clearfil Tri-S was used in the conventional protocol. When cured with RD or UL and not etched, Clearfil Tri-S presented the higher gap formation. In conclusion, additional enamel etching promoted better marginal integrity for Clearfil Tri-S, showing it to be an efficient technique for Class I composite restorations. The two-step self-etch adhesive was not influenced by selective enamel etching or by the LED-curing unit.