Objectives: To evaluate the influence of surface treatments of different resin-based composites (RBCs) on S. mutans biofilm formation.
Methods: 4 RBCs (microhybrid, nanohybrid, nanofilled, bulk-filled) and 6 finishing-polishing (F/P) procedures (open-air light-curing, light-curing against Mylar strip, aluminum oxide discs, one-step rubber point, diamond bur, multi-blade carbide bur) were evaluated. Surface roughness (SR) (n=5/group), gloss (n=5/group), scanning electron microscopy morphological analysis (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS) (n=3/group), and S. mutans biofilm formation (n=16/group) were assessed. EDS analysis was repeated after the biofilm assay. A morphological evaluation of S. mutans biofilm was also performed using confocal laser-scanning microscopy (CLSM) (n=2/group). The data were analyzed using Wilcoxon (SR, gloss) and two-way ANOVA with Tukey as post-hoc tests (EDS, biofilm formation).
Results: F/P procedures as well as RBCs significantly influenced SR and gloss. While F/P procedures did not significantly influence S. mutans biofilm formation, a significant influence of RBCs on the same parameter was found. Different RBCs showed different surface elemental composition. Both F/P procedures and S. mutans biofilm formation significantly modified this parameter.
Conclusions: The tested F/P procedures significantly influenced RBCs surface properties but did not significantly affect S. mutans biofilm formation. The significant influence of the different RBCs tested on S. mutans biofilm formation suggests that material characteristics and composition play a greater role than SR.
Clinical significance: F/P procedures of RBCs may unexpectedly play a minor role compared to that of the restoration material itself in bacterial colonization.
Keywords: Biofilm; Bioreactor; Finishing; Polishing; Resin composites; Streptococcus mutans.
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