Ex vivo evaluation of caries infiltration after different application times in primary molars

Low viscosity resins (infiltrants) have been shown to penetrate the lesion body of natural caries lesions almost completely in vitro. However, penetration depths (PD) have not been evaluated in vivo. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the penetration of an infiltrant into proximal caries lesions in primary molars after different application times using an ex vivo model. 59 proximal lesions from 34 children were randomly allocated to one of the application times and were infiltrated under clinical conditions for 1, 3, or 5 min. After extraction or exfoliation (n = 48), teeth were sectioned perpendicular to their surfaces and lesion depths (LD) as well as lesion areas (LA) were evaluated using polarized light microscopy. PD and penetration areas (PA) were measured on scanning electron microscopic images. Percentage penetration depth (PPD) and percentage penetration area (PPA) were calculated. The mean (±SD) LD and LA were 596 ± 203 µm and 4.03 ± 2.75 × 10(5) µm(2), respectively. PPD ranged from 70 to 80% and PPA from 54 to 60%. Longer application times did not result in significantly deeper or more complete penetration (p > 0.05; ANOVA). In conclusion, proximal caries lesions in primary molars can be infiltrated in vivo to a similar extent as observed previously in vitro. Moreover, 1-min application of the infiltrant led to PD and homogeneity similar to those observed with longer application times up to 5 min.


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