Surface integrity of composite inlays following ultrasonic vibration

A. Damien Walmsley, Philip J. Lumley, Liam Blunt, Donald Spence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To assess the effect of ultrasonic vibration on the surface integrity of a resin composite inaly. Materials and Methods: Ultrasonic vibration in the form of a scaling tip oriented either parallel or perpendicular to the surface was applied to 2 mm thick, 10 mm wide composite discs and the experiment was repeated with the probe oriented perpendicular using composite or rubber shields. The indentations produced were measured using a form Talysurf profilometer. The surfaces of the discs were also observed using scanning electron microscopy. Five discs were used for each experiment. Results: Both parallel and perpendicular orientations produced an indentation with a scattering of composite debris. A significant increase in the depth of indentation occurred if the vibrations of the ultrasonic sealer were oriented parallel to the composite surface (Two sample t- test, P < 0.01). The presence of a composite shield significantly reduced (Mann-Whitney, P<0.05) the depth of indentation but produced roughening of the surface with impaction of material from the shield onto the surface. The rubber shield, however, polished the surface significantly smoother than the control specimens (Mann-Whitney, P<0.05). Microscope slide separation was used to measure the thickness of composite luting agent following vibration with an ultrasonic scaling tip with and without a protective sleeve. There was a significantly thinner film of luting agent when an unsleeved sealer was used (ANOVA, P<0.001). Although an unguarded tip oriented perpendicular to the surface appears to result in the best energy transfer for a thin layer of composite luting agent, it does, however, create minimal surface damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-106
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Dentistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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