Argon laser curing of fluoride-releasing pit and fissure sealant: in vitro caries development.ASDC J Dent Child 2000 Nov-Dec; 67(6):385-90, 374AJ
The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of argon laser polymerization of a visible-light-cured, fluoride-releasing pit and fissure sealant on caries development in vitro. A total of twelve caries-free premolar and molar teeth was selected, and underwent a fluoride-free prophylaxis and soft tissue debridement. Cavity preparations were placed in buccal and lingual surfaces. Lingual cavity preparations were filled with the fluoride-releasing sealant (UltraSealXTplus, Ultradent) and visible light cured per the manufacturer's recommendation. Buccal preparations were filled with the fluoride-releasing sealant and argon laser cured (231 mW, 12 J/cm2 for 10 seconds). Following sealant placement, the teeth were sectioned into buccal and lingual halves. An acid-resistant varnish was placed leaving a 1 mm rim of exposed surface enamel adjacent to the sealant. The specimens were then thermocycled in synthetic saliva (500 cycles, 5 to 50 degrees C). In vitro caries lesions were formed (2.2 mM Ca, 2.2 mM PO4, 50 mM acetic acid, 5 ppm fluoride, pH 3.95). Longitudinal sections (five sections per tooth half) were obtained and evaluated by polarized light microscopy for mean outer surface lesion depths and frequency of wall lesions. Mean primary surface (outer) lesion depth was significantly decreased (ANOVA, DMR, P < .05) for the fluoride-releasing sealant with argon laser polymerization (152 +/- 16 um) when compared with visible light curing (211 +/- 23 um). Likewise, wall lesion frequency was substantially reduced for the argon laser polymerized sealants (17 percent) when compared with that for the visible light polymerized sealants (24 percent, ANOVA, DMR, P < .05). Argon laser polymerization of a fluoride-releasing pit and fissure sealant improved caries resistance markedly in the surface enamel adjacent to the sealant material. Argon laser curing enhanced the caries protective ability of the sealant along the enamel-resin cavosurface, as noted by a decrease in wall lesion frequency. Argon laser polymerization provides further caries protection against a cariogenic challenge over that afforded by fluoride-releasing sealants. Caries development around a sealant material may be hampered by the combination of fluoride release from the sealant and argon laser polymerization.