Objectives: The corrosion of metal type (NiCr, copper, etc.) posts in post and core restorations has been a well known fact over the last few years. A new generation of carbon fiber posts is now playing an extensive role in dental prosthetics, but these posts may, in some cases come in contact with alloys used for restoration purposes. The objective of this paper is to study the electrochemical behaviour of these posts in an artificial SAGF medium (Artificial Saliva Gal Fovet) for comparison with that observed for different alloys (gold, NiCr and amalgams) in the same medium, and to assess the coupling that might occur between these posts and alloys.
Methods: Posts of different diameters (1-2.1 mm) were molded in resin, thus forming 10 x 3 mm pads that were mounted on a rotating electrode. Pads of identical dimensions were also made for each alloy. Voltammograms (current-tension curves) were plotted for every material in the SAGF medium at 25 degrees C with normal aeration and low aeration (bubbling purified argon) using a potentiometer with three electrodes to determine the position of the zero current potentials. Evans graphs were then plotted once the anode part of the alloy curves and the cathode part of the post curves had been processed with computer software. The potentials and the maximum coupling current densities were estimated.
Results: Posts may be involved in galvanic coupling in the presence of oxygen. Galvanic activity in an aerated solution is highly probable upon contact with amalgams, but may also occur if the material in contact is NiCr alloy. Coupling between precious alloys and posts is improbable and can only induce very low currents in the presence of oxygen.
Significance: This study devoted to coupling of carbon fiber posts and metals in the mouth, attracts attention to the fact that a corrosion reaction can be set-up in the infiltration conditions relevant to the prosthetic restoration.