Effect of composite resin containing antibacterial filler on sugar-induced pH drop caused by whole saliva bacteria

Ervin I. Weiss*, Omer Enoch, Michal Steinkeller-Dekel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Statement of problem: Secondary caries around restorations is a major problem and can be attributed to bacteria invading microgaps formed at the tooth-restoration interface. An antibacterial composite resin containing quaternary ammonium silica (QASi) filler has been reported to inhibit enamel demineralization in situ. However, whether the prevention of enamel demineralization by QASi-containing composite resin is because of the reduced metabolic activity of acid-producing saliva bacteria is unclear. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of QASi-containing composite resin and 2 other restorative materials on the viability of salivary bacteria and sugar-induced acid production. Material and methods: Whole saliva from each of the 30 study participants, 14 at high risk and 16 at low risk for caries, was brought into contact with quadruplicate specimens of 3 restorative materials, Infinix Flowable Composite, an anti-bacterial composite resin containing 1.5% QASi filler (Nobio), Filtek Supreme Flowable Restorative (3M), a conventional flowable composite resin, and dental amalgam (Silmet). Bacterial growth and sugar-induced acid production on each restorative material were measured every 20 minutes for 18 hours. Caries risk groups were compared using the t test and repeated measures analysis of variance (α=.05). When significant, Bonferroni multiple comparisons were used. Results: On average, the saliva with the QASi-containing composite resin specimens maintained a near-neutral pH, not dropping below pH 6.0. The saliva associated with both conventional restorative materials exhibited a pH drop below 5.5 (P<.001), the critical threshold for tooth demineralization according to the Stephan curve. Virtually no growth was measured on the surface of the antibacterial composite resin, whereas bacteria grew on the conventional composite resin and dental amalgam (P<.001). No differences were observed between participants at high and low risk of caries. Conclusions: Unlike amalgam and conventional composite resin, the QASi-containing composite resin showed a near-complete shutdown of the metabolic activity of salivary bacteria upon contact and virtually no bacterial viability. This suggests that the prevention of tooth demineralization by QASi-containing restoratives is associated with a significant reduction in bacterial metabolic activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)938.e1-938.e7
JournalJournal of Prosthetic Dentistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2023


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