Dentistry: The Causes and Effects of Micro-Leakage in Posterior Composite Restorations

Dentistry: The Causes and Effects of Micro-Leakage in Posterior Composite Restorations

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During restoration of an affected tooth, if any margins between the composite restoration and tooth of concern are open, micro-leakage can occur1. Micro-leakage is a phenomenon in dentistry resulting from imperfect bonding that allows the movement of bacteria and fluids between the restoration and tooth of interest2. When a composite restoration is placed and undergoes polymerization through curing, shrinkage occurs. Research has shown that the percent of gaps between composite restorations can be variable; between 14% and 54%3. This can lead to an increased risk for micro-leakage and is of concern to both the dentist and the patient. Other causes of micro-leakage that exist include: continuous light polymerization methods4 and prerestorative home bleaching5. The effects of micro-leakage include: increased sensitivity, secondary caries, discoloration of the composite material, restoration failure, and/or pulpal pathology or pulpal death1.
The existence of micro-leakage in dental restorations was first identified in scientific research in 19126. In a study done by Harper (1912), air pressure was used to penetrate the surface between an amalgam restoration and cavity preparation7. By applying pressure through a hole in the pulpal floor, Harper could quantify the amount of pressure needed to establish leakage through the emergence of bubbles from the margins of the restoration. Research has come a long way since Harper first recognized micro-leakage. Adaptations of new materials used when placing composite restorations like BondAband, a light-cured glass-ionomer cement has been shown to reduce marginal micro-leakage in posterior restorations8. A decrease in microleakage has also been shown with the use of an ...

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... air pressure test. Dent Rev. 1912; 26: 1179-1198.
7. Aziz RD, Gonzalez NAG, Kasim NHA. Microleakage Testing. Annals of Dentistry 1997; 4(1): 31-37.
8. Chapman Kenneth W., Crim Gary A. Reducing microleakage in Class II restorations: An in vitro study. Oper Dent 1994; 25(11): 781-785.
9. Siso HS, Kustarci A, Göktolga EG. Microleakage in Resin Composite Restorations After Antimicrobial Pre-treatments: Effect of KTP Laser, Chlorhexidine Gluconate and Clearfil Protect Bond. Oper Dent. 2009; 34(3): 321-327.
10. Gharizadeh N, Moradi K, Haghighizadeh MH. A study of microleakage in Class II composite restorations using four different curing techniques. Oper Dent. 2007; 32(4): 336-40.
11. Bagis YH, Baltacioglu IH, Kahyaogullari S. Comparing Microleakage and the Layering Methods of Silorane-based Resin Composite in Wide Class II MOD Cavities. Oper Dent. 2009; 34(5): 578-585.

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