Effect of chemical surface treatment of titanium on its bond with dental ceramics

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Statement of problem.Airborne-particle abrasion of titanium is a clinically accepted method of surface preparation. As a side effect of airborne-particle abrasion, particles of the abrasive material get embedded into the surface. How particle presence or removal from the titanium surface affects the strength of the titanium-ceramic bond is unclear.Purpose.The purpose of this in vitro study was to determine the effect of removing Al2O3 particles embedded into the surface by means of chemical surface treatment on the strength of the titanium-ceramic bond.Material and methods.Titanium (TritanCpTi 1, Dentaurum, 99.5% Ti) disks were airborne-particle abraded with 110 μm Al2O3 at a pressure of 0.4 MPa and an angle of approximately 45 degrees. The surface was etched chemically using 1 of 8 reagents, and the veneering ceramic applied and fired. The strength of the metal-ceramic bond was determined using the shear strength test. Further, the effect of thermal fatigue on the bond strength was evaluated. The results were analyzed with 2-way ANOVA and the Tukey honest significant difference (HSD) test (α=.05). Fractographic investigations and microscopic tests were also performed to determine the quality of the titanium-ceramic bond.Results.Effective etching of the titanium surface and removal of Al2O3 particles included a 30% water solution of HNO3 + 3% HF, a mixture of HNO3 + HF + glycerin, a 4% solution of HF in H2O2, and a 4% solution of HF in H2O. A statistically significant difference (of about 50%) in bond strength was found between the groups subjected to chemical etching and the control group (P<.05). Additionally, a statistically significant difference (about 25%) was found after thermocycling (P<.05).Conclusions.Removing the Al2O3 particles embedded into the titanium surface after airborne-particle abrasion lowers the strength of the titanium-ceramic bond (P<.05). Thermocycling also weakens the strength of the titanium-ceramic bond, regardless of the surface preparation (P<.05).

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