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J Adhes Dent. 2007;9 Suppl 1:77-106.

Systematic reviews: I. The correlation between laboratory tests on marginal quality and bond strength. II. The correlation between marginal quality and clinical outcome.

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Ivoclar Vivadent, Schaan, Liechtenstein.

Erratum in

  • J Adhes Dent. 2007 Dec;9(6):546.



An accepted principle in restorative dentistry states that restorations should be placed with the best marginal quality possible to avoid postoperative sensitivity, marginal discoloration, and secondary caries. Different laboratory methods claim to predict the clinical performance of restorative materials, for example, tests of bond strength and microleakage and gap analysis. The purpose of this review was twofold: (1) find studies that correlated the results of bond strength tests with either microleakage or gap analysis for the same materials, and (2) find studies that correlated the results of microleakage and/or gaps with the clinical parameters for the same materials. Furthermore, influencing factors on the results of the laboratory tests were reviewed and assessed.


For the first question, searches for studies were conducted in the MEDLINE database and IADR/AADR abtracts online with specific search and inclusion criteria. The outcome for each study was assessed on the basis of the statistical test applied in the study, and finally the number of studies with or without correlation was compiled. For the second question, results of the quantitative marginal analysis of Class V restorations published by the University of Z├╝rich with the same test protocol and prospective clinical trials were searched that investigated the same materials for at least 2 years in Class V cavities. Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated for pooled data of materials and clinical outcome parameters such as retention loss, marginal discoloration, marginal integrity, and secondary caries. For the correlation of dye penetration and clinical outcome, studies on Class V restorations published by the same research institute were searched in MEDLINE that examined the same adhesive systems as the selected clinical trials.


For the correlation bond strength/microleakage, 30 studies were included into the review, and for the correlation bond strength/gap analysis 18 studies. For both topics, about 80% of the studies revealed that there was no correlation between the two methods. For the correlation quantitative marginal analysis/clinical outcome, data were compared to the clinical outcome of 11 selected clinical studies. In only 2 out of the 11 studies (18%) did the clinical outcome match the prognosis based on the laboratory tests; the remaining studies did not show any correlation. When pooling data on 20 adhesive systems, no correlation was found between the percentage of continuous margin of restorations placed in extracted premolars and the percentage of teeth that showed no retention loss in clinical studies, no discoloured margins, acceptable margins, or absence of secondary caries. With regard to the correlation of dye penetration and clinical studies, no sufficient number of studies was found that matched the inclusion criteria. However, literature data suggest that there is no correlation between microleakage data as measured in the laboratory and clinical parameters.


The results of bond strength tests did not correlate with laboratory tests that evaluated the marginal seal of restorations such as microleakage or gap analysis. The quantitative marginal analysis of Class V fillings in the laboratory was unable to predict the performance of the same materials in vivo. Therefore, microleakage tests or the quantitative marginal analysis should be abandoned and research should focus on laboratory tests that are validated with regard to their ability to satisfactorily predict the clinical performance of restorative materials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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