Longitudinal micromorphological 15-year results of posterior composite restorations using three-dimensional scanning electron microscopy

Available online 6 May 2014




Hybrid composite restorations in posterior teeth were evaluated over 15 years using the semiquantitative Clinical, Photographic and Micromorphologic (CPM) index. It was a further aim to quantitate the surface morphology by three-dimensional scanning electron microscopy (3D-SEM).


Thirty seven hybrid composite restorations (Ketac-Bond/Visio-Molar X, ESPE, Seefeld/Germany) were longitudinally followed up.
Parallel to clinical assessment replicas were taken at baseline, after 1, 5, 10 and 15 years and evaluated by SEM, and profilometrical analyses of 3D-SEM data were computed. The profilometrical results were statistically analysed by ANOVA. The level of significance was set to p < 0.05.


The semiquantitative micromorphological evaluation exhibited the most considerable deterioration within the first year and up to 5 years of function. Less change was detected during the next 10 years. The profilometrical quantification showed raising depth of the negative marginal ledges with a mean of 27.2 μm (range 0.6 μm to 94.5 μm) after 10 years, with no statistically significant changes from 5 to 10 and 10 to 15 years. The 3D-SEM revealed marginal grooves beneath the level of the ledges (mean 34.5 μm after 5 years) within the bonding zone, exposing enamel margins. Leakages, marginal fractures and surface roughness did not seriously deteriorate the quality of restorations.


Hybrid composite restorations of Class I and II cavities surviving the first five years performed well over 15 years of function. Quantitative 3D-SEM profilometrical measurements revealed the dynamics of marginal behaviour over time.


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