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Limiting Postoperative Sensitivity in Composite Restorations

The use of adhesive dental procedures has become well established for direct and indirect restorations in anterior and posterior regions, and the involved materials continue to evolve. Despite improvments in materials and techniques, postoerative sensitivity following direct composite restoration still remains a problem, particularly in posterior teeth. As outlined within this presentation, self-etch adhesives enable pratitioners to achieve predictable adhesion and minimize clinicians' concerns regarding postoperative sensitivity. This ensures a comfortable, aesthetic result for dental patient and practitioner alike.

*Fellow and Past President, Academy of General Dentistry; attending dentist, Englewood Hospital, Englewood, NJ; private practice, Fort Lee, NJ.


Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this podcast, the listener should:

  • Understand how using self-etch adhesives can help to limit postoperative sensitivity in dental patients.
  • Gain increased knowledge of self-etch adhesives.


Related Reading:

  1. Buonocore MG. A simple method of increasing the adhesion of acrylic filling materials to enamel surfaces. J Dent Res 1955;34:849-853.
  2. Swift EJ, Bayne SC. Shear bond strength of a new one-bottle dentin adhesive. Am J Dent 1997;10:184-188.
  3. Finger WJ, Fritz U. Laboratory evaluation of one-component enamel/dentin bonding agents. Am J Dent 1996;9:206-210.
  4. Eick JD, Gwinnett AJ, Pashley DH, Robinson SJ. Current concepts on adhesion to dentin. Crit Rev Oral Biol Med 1997;8:306-335.
  5. Perdigão J, Geraldeli S, Hodges JS. Total-etch versus self-etch adhesive. Effect on postoperative sensitivity. J Am Dent Assoc 2003;134(12):1621-1629.
  6. Perdigão J, Lopes M. Dentin bonding: Questions for the new millennium. J Adhes Dent 1999;1:191–209.
  7. Leinfelder KF. Posterior composites. In: Taylor DF, ed. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Posterior Composite Resins. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press; 1984:353.
  8. Eick JD, Welch FH. Polymerization shrinkage of posterior composite resins and its possible influence on postoperative sensitivity. Quint Int 1986;17:103-111.
  9. Christensen G. Preventing postoperative tooth sensitivity in Class I, II, and V restorations. J Am Dent Assoc 2002;133:229-231.
  10. Opdam NJ, Feilzer AJ, Roeters JJ, Smale I. Class I occlusal composite resin restorations: in vivo post-operative sensitivity, wall adaptation, and microleakage. Am J Dent 1998;11:229-234.
  11. Brännstrom M. Etiology of dentin hypersensitivity. Proc Finn Dent Soc 1992;88(Suppl1):7-13.
  12. Pashley DH, Tay FR. Aggressiveness of contemporary self-etching adhesives, part II: Etching effects on unground enamel. Dent Mater 2001;17:430-444.
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