An investigation into the effect of a resin infiltrant on the micromechanical properties of hypomineralised enamel

Int J Paediatr Dent. 2017 Sep;27(5):399-411. doi: 10.1111/ipd.12272. Epub 2016 Nov 4.


Background: Resin infiltration may alter the mechanical properties of enamel hypomineralised lesions (HL); however, variable surface layer (SL) thickness may affect resin penetration.

Aims: To determine the thickness of the SL of HL and to investigate the effect of resin infiltration on the mechanical properties of HL.

Design: The thickness of the SL over HL was determined using polarised light microscopy. Etching time using 15% HCl gel to remove the SL of 52 samples was determined. Selected HL and control areas of 21 teeth were infiltrated with Icon® resin infiltrant, and cross-sectional Knoop microhardness (KHN) measurements were recorded before and after resin infiltration.

Results: Ninety-six point five per cent of HL had a detectable SL with mean thickness of 58 ± 29 μm. Application of HCl for 120 s produced a mean MIH erosion depth of 58 ± 12 μm. Eleven of 21 samples had evidence of infiltration using visual examination. The infiltrant penetrated some of the HL leading to an increase in KHN (111 ± 75 KHN) which, when compared to adjacent non-infiltrated HL (96 ± 52 KHN), was not statistically significantly different (P = 0.56).

Conclusions: There was marked variation in the SL thickness of HL. Resin infiltration of HL did not increase microhardness significantly.

MeSH terms

  • Dental Enamel / chemistry
  • Dental Enamel / diagnostic imaging
  • Dental Enamel / drug effects*
  • Dental Enamel / pathology*
  • Dental Etching / adverse effects
  • Hardness
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Mechanical Phenomena / drug effects*
  • Resins, Synthetic / pharmacology*
  • Surface Properties
  • Time Factors
  • Tooth Demineralization* / diagnostic imaging
  • Tooth Demineralization* / pathology


  • Resins, Synthetic
  • icon infiltrant