Title: Influence of air abrasion and etching on enamel and adaptation of a dental sealant
Abstract: Aim Aim of this study was to evaluate the marginal microleakage of a dental sealant using different pre-treatment techniques of the enamel surface. Methods Thirty extracted human intact teeth were selected and divided into 3 groups (n = 10) (1: acid etching with 37% orthophosphoric acid – 3M ESPE, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA; 2: air abrasion; 3: air abrasion + acid etching). The sealant (Helioseal, Vivadent Ivoclar AG, Liechtenstein) was applied into occlusal pits and fissures and light cured for 40 sec. All samples were thermocycled for 500 cycles (5°-55°C). Teeth were then immersed into a 2% methylene blue solution for 24 hrs and sectioned in a mesio-distal direction. Forty-eight sections were obtained for each group. Each section was analysed and photographed with a stereomicroscope (50x) assessing dye penetration (0: no dye penetration; 1: dye penetration restricted to the outer half of the sealant; 2: dye penetration restricted to the inner half of the sealant; 3: dye penetration into the underlying fissure). Statistics Data were statistically analysed (Mann-Whitney test). Results Specimens prepared after air abrasion combined with acid etching showed lower microleakage expression if compared with the other two groups (p<0.01). Conclusion A combination of mechanical air abrasion and chemical acid etching represents an effective pre-treatment of enamel surface that may significantly reduce the risk of microleakage.