Purpose: The objective of this in vitro study was to compare the degree of microleakage of composite restorations performed by lasers and conventional drills associated with two adhesive systems. Materials and Methods: Sixty bovine teeth were divided into 6 groups (n = 10). The preparations were performed in groups 1 and 2 with a high-speed drill (HD), in groups 3 and 5 with Er:YAG laser, and in groups 4 and 6 with Er,Cr:YSGG laser. The specimens were restored with resin composite associated with an etch-and-rinse two-step adhesive system (Single Bond 2 [SB]) (groups 1, 3, 4) and a self-etching adhesive (One-Up Bond F [OB]) (groups 2, 5, 6). After storage, the specimens were polished, thermocycled, immersed in 50% silver nitrate tracer solution, and then sectioned longitudinally. The specimens were placed under a stereomicroscope (25X) and digital images were obtained. These were evaluated by three blinded evaluators who assigned a microleakage score (0 to 3). The original data were submitted to Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney statistical tests. Results: The occlusal/enamel margins demonstrated no differences in microleakage for all treatments (p > 0.05). The gingival/dentin margins presented similar microleakage in cavities prepared with Er:YAG, Er,Cr:YSGG, and HD using the etch-and-rinse two-step adhesive system (SB) (p > 0.05); otherwise, both Er:YAG and Er,Cr:YSGG lasers demonstrated lower microleakage scores with OB than SB adhesive (p < 0.05). Conclusion: The microleakage score at gingival margins is dependent on the interaction of the hard tissue removal tool and the adhesive system used. The self-etching adhesive system had a lower microleakage score at dentin margins for cavities prepared with Er:YAG and Er,Cr:YSGG than the etch-and-rinse two-step adhesive system.
Keywords: microleakage, Er:YAG laser, Er,Cr:YSGG laser, etch-and-rinse, adhesive system, self-etching primer