Retrograde amalgam filling: a scanning electron microscopic study.

By Moodnik RM, Levey MH, Besen MA, Borden BG

Date: 11/1975
Journal: JOE

Purpose: to examine amalgam retrograde filling in the resected root surfaces.

N= 4 teeth


•4 teeth with retrograde amalgam filling were examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) (3 teeth were treated by apical surgery and extracted for different reasons, the 4th specimen was an extracted tooth and retrograde amalgam filling was completed on the extracted tooth (extra-orally) an served as a control.

•The 3 teeth that were treated surgically and filled with retrograde amalgam showed successful peri-apical repair after failure of conventional treatment

Most highlighted Results: 

•SEM study of four teeth showed that defects between the amalgam-dentinal interface varied between 6 μm and 150 μm

•The radiographic depiction of the apical seal did not correlate with the completeness of the seal when it was analyzed by SEM

Clinical significance:  amalgam served as an acceptable retrograde filling material in the past which led to development of new more biocompatible materials with better sealability.