Identification of chemicals leaching from dental resin-based materials after in vitro chemical and salivary degradation

Philippe Vervliet, Siemon De Nys, Radu Corneliu Duca, Imke Boonen, Lode Godderis, Marc Elskens, Kirsten L. Van Landuyt, Adrian Covaci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objectives: Only little is known about degradation of methacrylate monomers. Therefore, using in vitro chemical and saliva degradation this study aimed to identify the degradation products of organic compounds present in resin-based dental materials. Methods: Ten dental monomers and nine polymerized dental resin-based materials were immersed for 24 h in chemical media (0.1 M HCl, 0.1 M NaOH) and human pooled saliva in order to identify leached monomers and degradation products from chemical and saliva degradation. Samples were analyzed using liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry to identify previously unknown degradation products. Results: During in vitro chemical degradation, uncured monomers were rapidly hydrolyzed into mono- and demethacrylated degradation products. During chemical degradation in alkaline conditions of polymerized materials, considered the worst-case scenario, only degradation products could be detected. In acidic conditions, monomers and their degradation products were detected. In addition, different additives such as EDMAB, DMPA and HMBP were present in acidic degradation samples. Degradation in human pooled saliva for 24 h to mimic the in vivo situation, resulted in the identification of both monomers and their degradation products. Clinical Significance: Using state-of-the-art high-resolution mass spectrometry previously unknown degradation products of commonly used monomers were identified for the first time. Results show that patients may be exposed to monomers and their degradation products in the first 24 h after restorative procedures. The results provide a base for further research on the degradation of resin-based dental composites in order to assess their safety using elution and toxicity studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-32
Number of pages14
JournalDental Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • In vitro degradation
  • Dental resins
  • Liquid chromatography-mass
  • spectrometry
  • Human saliva

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