Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 87–96 | Cite as

Genotoxicity in gingival cells of patients undergoing tooth restoration with two different dental composite materials

  • Antonija Tadin
  • Nada Galic
  • Marin Mladinic
  • Danijela Marovic
  • Ivan Kovacic
  • Davor Zeljezic
Original Article



Dental composite materials come into direct contact with oral tissue, especially gingival cells. This study was performed to evaluate possible DNA damage to gingival cells exposed to resin composite dental materials.

Materials and methods

Class V restorations were placed in 30 adult patients using two different composite resins. The epithelial cells of the gingival area along the composite restoration were sampled prior to and after 7, 30, and 180 days following the restoration of the tooth. DNA damage was analysed by comet and micronucleus assays in gingival exfoliated epithelial cells.


The results showed significantly higher comet assay parameters (tail length and % DNA in the tail) within periods of 30 and 180 days. The micronucleus test for the same exposure time demonstrated a higher number of cells with micronuclei, karyolysis, and nuclear buds. Results did not reveal any difference between the two composite materials for the same duration of exposure.


Based on the results, we can conclude that the use of composite resins causes cellular damage. As dental composite resins remain in intimate contact with oral tissue over a long period of time, further research on their possible genotoxicity is advisable.

Clinical relevance

Long-term exposure of gingival cells to two different composite materials demonstrated certain DNA damage. However, considering the significant decline in micronuclei frequency after 180 days and efficiency in the repair of primary DNA damage, the observed effects could not be indicated as biologically relevant.


Comet assay Dental composite DNA damage Genotoxicity test Micronucleus assay in gingival epithelial cells 



This investigation was supported by the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports as part of the Themes No: 022-0222148-2137, No: 065-0650444-0418 and No. 065-0352851-0410.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonija Tadin
    • 1
  • Nada Galic
    • 2
  • Marin Mladinic
    • 3
  • Danijela Marovic
    • 2
  • Ivan Kovacic
    • 1
  • Davor Zeljezic
    • 3
  1. 1.Study of Dental Medicine, School of MedicineUniversity of SplitSplitCroatia
  2. 2.Department of Endodontics and Restorative Dentistry, School of Dental MedicineUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  3. 3.Division for MutagenesisInstitute for Medical Research and Occupational HealthZagrebCroatia

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