Quality and Survival of Direct Light-Activated Composite Resin Restorations in Posterior Teeth: A 5- to 20-Year Retrospective Longitudinal Study

J Prosthodont. 2019 Jan;28(1):e195-e203. doi: 10.1111/jopr.12630. Epub 2017 May 17.


Purpose: To analyze the clinical success of direct light-activated composite resin restorations in posterior teeth. The quality of the margins and occlusal surfaces were evaluated, as well as their survival, according to their extensions and locations. The clinical performance of posterior composite resin restorations with different compositions were compared. All restorations were performed by the first author in his private practice, in a 5- to 20-year period.

Materials and methods: Several types of composite resins, provided by different manufacturers, were placed in posterior teeth, after isolation with rubber dams. To be included in the study, the restorations had to have been in function for at least 5 years and had to have been placed between October 1993 and October 2008 by the first author. The established failure criteria were: tooth and/or restoration fracture, secondary caries, endodontic treatment, or tooth loss. Included patients must have been treated in the first author's office for at least 7 years and still in the practice through 2013; all patients had complete dental arches. Patients with removable dental prostheses or disabilities, who had moved, or who had died were excluded. Of 210 patients who fulfilled the inclusion criteria, 138 randomly selected subjects were clinically examined between November 2013 and April 2014. Of these 138 patients, 61 had received 105 direct-light-activated composite resin restorations in posterior teeth, which met the inclusion criteria. Twenty-nine patients (47.5%) underwent annual maintenance therapy. The patient-based data collected from clinical exams and personal records were recorded on a specially designed form. Age, gender, period of clinical attendance, tooth preparation, location, size, quality and longevity of the restorations, restorative materials, adhesive systems, parafunctional habits, secondary caries, and maintenance therapy were the variables evaluated. Authors were blinded to the clinical assessments. Cohen's Kappa coefficient of the quality analysis of the margins and occlusal surfaces of the restorations ranged from 0.78 to 1. Data processing was performed using Epidat software, v3.1, developed by the Consellería de Sanidade de la Xunta de Galicia with the support of PAHO-WHO and SPSS software v13.0. If the number of complete values was too small, a Kaplan-Meier curve could not be used. Therefore the Fisher's exact test, Chi-square test, Kruskal-Wallis test, and Mann-Whitney non-parametric test were indicated to analyze significant differences.

Results: At the time of the examinations, 103 (98%) restorations were in function, and 98 (95.1%) were rated as clinically successful. Two restorations failed (2%). The observed mean survival time of restorations that remained functional was 11 years and 7 months.

Conclusions: In the present report, direct light-activated composite resin restorations in posterior teeth showed a high clinical success rate and long-term mean survival time. These composite resins might be considered the material of choice to restore medium, extended, and in some clinical situations, large preparations in posterior teeth.

Keywords: Adhesion; clinical performance; direct tooth-colored posterior restorations; esthetics; long-term study.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acrylic Resins
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Composite Resins / chemistry*
  • Composite Resins / radiation effects*
  • Composite Resins / therapeutic use
  • Dental Caries / therapy
  • Dental Cavity Preparation
  • Dental Marginal Adaptation
  • Dental Materials
  • Dental Restoration Failure*
  • Dental Restoration, Permanent*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molar
  • Polyurethanes
  • Resin Cements
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Acrylic Resins
  • Composite Dental Resin
  • Composite Resins
  • Dental Materials
  • Polyurethanes
  • Resin Cements