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J Adhes Dent. 2013 Jun;15(3):237-43. doi: 10.3290/j.jad.a28623.

3D assessment of void and gap formation in flowable resin composites using optical coherence tomography.

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Department of Restorative Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan.



To investigate the effect of composite type and cavity size on gap and void formation using optical coherence tomography (OCT).


Class I cavities of two depths (2 mm or 4 mm; 4 mm diameter) were prepared, treated with Tri-S Bond (Kuraray Medical), and bulk filled with either Surefil SDR Flow (SF; Dentsply) or Clearfil Majesty LV (MJ; Kuraray Medical) to form four groups. After 24 h, the specimens were 3D scanned using swept-source OCT (Santec) with 1310 nm laser at a 20 kHz sweep rate. In OCT tomograms, the bonding interface and the bulk of the restorations were evaluated. The percentage values of sealed interfaces (SP) and void volume (VP) for all groups were calculated and statistically analyzed using two- and one-way ANOVA and Tukey's post-hoc test. Selected specimens were cross sectioned and observed using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and a confocal laser scanning microscope to confirm OCT findings.


The following values were obtained for SP and VP, respectively: SF-2mm: 92% and 0.08%; SF-4mm: 66% and 0.13%; MJ-2mm: 86% and 1.79%; MJ-4mm: 33% and 1.96%. Both composites showed a significant increase in gap formation at 4-mm cavity depth (p < 0.001). While SF showed a rather homogeneous bulk compared to MJ, cavity depth did not significantly affect the void volume fraction (p = 0.08).


The flowable composite with SDR (stress-decreasing resin) technology performed better than the conventional composite; however, bulk filling a 4-mm-deep cavity will compromise the sealing of the bonding interface regardless of the type of composite. OCT is a unique method of characterizing materials and their behaviors nondestructively and precisely.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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