The surface characteristics of eight posterior and two anterior composite resins were studied by SEM and profilometric tracings. The materials included both chemically cured and light-cured resin systems. Two posterior materials were microfilled composites; the others were conventional or hybrid types. The anterior composites were of conventional and hybrid types. At various steps in the procedures the following polishing/brushing treatments were evaluated: 1) dry polishing with Sof-lex discs followed by brushing with toothpaste; and 2) wet polishing with diamond pastes of increasing fineness, followed by brushing with toothpaste. The base line before the polishing/brushing procedures was obtained by wet polishing on silicon-carbide paper (4000 grit). All materials could be polished to a comparable smoothness by the Sof-lex discs, but this polishing procedure was associated with the development of an amorphous surface layer. Polishing with diamond pastes gave various results, with a 20-fold difference in surface roughness values from the smoothest to the roughest material. Toothbrushing after polishing with the Sof-lex system increased the surface roughness for all materials, but to various degrees. The two microfilled and four of the conventional posterior composites showed comparable surface roughness values, whereas two remaining posterior and the two anterior materials showed two to three times higher surface roughness values after toothbrushing.


Surface characteristics of posterior composites after polishing and toothbrushing.
van Dijken JW, Ruyter IE.
Acta Odontol Scand.
 1987 Oct;45(5):337-4