Salivary Pellicle Formed on Dental Composites Evaluated by Mass Spectrometry—An In Situ Study
(1) Background: In the oral environment, sound enamel and dental restorative materials are immediately covered by a pellicle layer, which enables bacteria to attach. For the development of new materials with repellent surface functions, information on the formation and maturation of salivary pellicles is crucial. Therefore, the present in situ study aimed to investigate the proteomic profile of salivary pellicles formed on different dental composites. (2) Methods: Light-cured composite and bovine enamel samples (controls) were exposed to the oral cavity for 30, 90, and 120 min. All samples were subjected to optical and mechanical profilometry, as well as SEM surface evaluation. Acquired pellicles and unstimulated whole saliva samples were analyzed by SELDI–TOF–MS. The significance was determined by the generalized estimation equation and the post-hoc bonferroni adjustment. (3) Results: SEM revealed the formation of homogeneous pellicles on all test and control surfaces. Profilometry showed that composite surfaces tend to be of higher roughness compared to enamel. SELDI–TOF–MS detected up to 102 different proteins in the saliva samples and up to 46 proteins in the pellicle. Significant differences among 14 pellicle proteins were found between the composite materials and the controls. (4) Conclusions: Pellicle formation was material- and time-dependent. Proteins differed among the composites and to the control.