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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2019 Mar 5;3:CD010526. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD010526.pub3. [Epub ahead of print]

Dental cavity liners for Class I and Class II resin-based composite restorations.

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Cariology and Comprehensive Care, New York University College of Dentistry, 345 East 24th Street, New York, USA, 10010.



Resin-based composite (RBC) is currently accepted as a viable material for the restoration of caries for posterior permanent teeth requiring surgical treatment. Despite the fact that the thermal conductivity of the RBC restorative material closely approximates that of natural tooth structure, postoperative hypersensitivity is sometimes still an issue. Dental cavity liners have historically been used to protect the pulp from the toxic effects of some dental restorative materials and to prevent the pain of thermal conductivity by placing an insulating layer between restorative material and the remaining tooth structure. This is an update of the Cochrane Review first published in 2016.


The objective of this review was to assess the effects of using dental cavity liners in the placement of Class I and Class II resin-based composite posterior restorations in permanent teeth in children and adults.


Cochrane Oral Health's Information Specialist searched the following databases: Cochrane Oral Health's Trials Register (to 12 November 2018), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL; 2018, Issue 10) in the Cochrane Library (searched 12 November 2018), MEDLINE Ovid (1946 to 12 November 2018), Embase Ovid (1980 to 12 November 2018) and LILACS BIREME Virtual Health Library (Latin American and Caribbean Health Science Information database; 1982 to 12 November 2018). We searched and the World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform for ongoing trials. No restrictions were placed on the language or date of publication when searching the electronic databases.


We included randomized controlled trials assessing the effects of the use of liners under Class I and Class II posterior resin-based composite restorations in permanent teeth (in both adults and children). We included both parallel and split-mouth designs.


We utilized standard methodological procedures prescribed by Cochrane for data collection and analysis. Two review authors screened the search results and assessed the eligibility of studies for inclusion against the review inclusion criteria. We conducted risk of bias assessments and data extraction independently and in duplicate. Where information was unclear we contacted study authors for clarification.


Eight studies, recruiting over 700 participants, compared the use of dental cavity liners to no liners for Class I and Class II resin-based composite restorations.Seven studies evaluated postoperative hypersensitivity measured by various methods. All studies were at unclear or high risk of bias. There was inconsistent evidence regarding postoperative hypersensitivity (either measured using cold response or patient-reported), with a benefit shown at some, but not all, time points (low-quality evidence).Four trials measured restoration longevity. Two of the studies were judged to be at high risk and two at unclear risk of bias. No difference in restoration failure rates were shown at 1 year follow-up, with no failures reported in either group for three of the four studies; the fourth study had a risk ratio (RR) 1.00 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.07 to 15.00) (low-quality evidence). Three studies evaluated restoration longevity at 2 years follow-up and, again, no failures were shown in either group.No adverse events were reported in any of the included studies.


There is inconsistent, low-quality evidence regarding the difference in postoperative hypersensitivity subsequent to placing a dental cavity liner under Class I and Class II posterior resin-based composite restorations in permanent posterior teeth in adults or children 15 years or older. Furthermore, no evidence was found to demonstrate a difference in the longevity of restorations placed with or without dental cavity liners.

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