This study investigated the degree of dye penetration of two composite inlay systems with different adhesive and bonding protocol. Forty whole extracted premolars and molars were collected. The teeth were immediately stored in water at room temperature. Class II cavity preparations were prepared and restored both, in the direct and the indirect techniques (Coltene Brilliant®) and (Kulzer Estilux posterior CVS®). The inlays were cemented with a composite luting cement (ART®-Bond) and (Kulzer, Adhesive cement®). Specimens were subjected to 750 cycles of thermal stress. They were than immersed in 2% Basic fuchsin dye. The teeth were sectioned in three planes before being ranked as to the amount of dye penetration. The data were analysed by the Wilcoxon's rank test at the 95% confidence level. There was no statistically significant difference between the direct and indirect technique considered separately for each composite inlay material, at the cervical margin location. The fuchsin staining in the occlusal area was limited to the enamel in all groups. By using the composite inlay, the factor of adaptation and bonding of composites to dentine become the significant factor contributing to leakage.