Scanning Electron Microscopic Investigation of the Surface of Fiber Posts After Cutting

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This study evaluated the surface of different types of fiber posts after cutting and investigated whether different cutting procedures can affect the integrity of the posts. Six types of fiber posts were selected for this study (Carbon Fiber Posts, Quartz Fiber Posts, Aesthetic Posts, Aesthetic Plus Posts, Translucent Posts, Dentatus, FRC Postec Posts). Fifteen posts of each type were studied. All posts had a diameter of 1.2 to 1.4 mm and were between 14 and 16 mm long. Each group was divided into three subgroups (n = 5) according to cutting method: diamond bur, carborundum disk, or scissors. The samples were then processed for scanning electron microscopic investigation. At low magnifications, no microscopic differences were found among the samples of groups 1–4 and 6. Surfaces from group 5 were more irregular, but only when cut using rotating instruments. All groups showed differences between surfaces cut with scissors and those cut with either diamond bur or carborundum disk. Posts displayed regular surfaces after cutting with a diamond bur. Cutting with a carborundum disk produced a mostly regular surface but sometimes produced irregularities close to the surface borders. The surfaces cut with scissors showed two plane and convergent flanges, and because of the formation of fracture lines these posts lost their integrity not only at the cutting surface but also along their length. The results of this study indicated that fiber posts can be cut using a diamond bur mounted in a handpiece under copious water coolant. Although the carborundum disk cutting procedure showed a less regular post surface, it can be speculated that it might be clinically acceptable. The cutting procedure using scissors should be avoided.

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