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Quintessence Publishing: Journals: QI
Quintessence International

Edited by Eli Eliav

ISSN 0033-6572 (print) • ISSN 1936-7163 (online)

October 1999
Volume 30 , Issue 10

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Enhanced retention of glass-ionomer sealant by enamel etching: A microleakage and scanning electron microscopic study

Lucia H. Birkenfeld, DMD, MS/Allan Schulman, DDS, MS

Pages: 712-718
PMID: 10765856

Objective: A microleakage study and a scanning electron microscopic investigation were conducted to test whether etching of enamel would improve adhesion of glass-ionomer cement sealants to fissure enamel. Method and materials: Forty-eight extracted human molars and premolars were divided into 2 equal groups, and their crowns were cleaned with pumice. In group 1 enamel was etched for 45 seconds with 37% phosphoric acid. In group 2, enamel was not etched. Glass-ionomer sealant was applied to all 48 teeth. Twenty teeth from each group were thermocycled in water (120 cycles between 0C and 56C) and stained with 0.5% methylene blue solution. The remaining 4 teeth from each group served as a control for the scanning electron microscopic evaluation. Twelve teeth from each group were cut into 5 sections, and 12 were cleaved into 3 sections in a buccolingual direction. Results: Statistically significant differences in amounts of microleakage were found between group 1 and group 2. Minimal microleakage was detected in 90% of the etched teeth, whereas extensive microleakage was observed in 85% of nonetched teeth. The scanning electron microscopic evaluation correlated positively with the microleakage observations. The etched teeth revealed a cohesive failure within the sealant material, while the nonetched teeth demonstrated an adhesive failure at the sealant-enamel interface. Observation of the nonthermocycled teeth confirmed those findings. Conclusion: Results suggested that etching prior to application enhances the bonding of glass-ionomer sealant to fissure enamel.

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