Comparative evaluation of 3 microbond strength tests using 4 adhesive systems: Mechanical, finite element, and failure analysis

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Abstract

Statement of problem.

Bond strength (BS) values from in vitro studies are useful when dentists are selecting an adhesive system, but there is no ideal measuring method.

Purpose.

The purpose of this in vitro study was to investigate the influence of the evaluation method in the BS between dentin and composite resin.

Material and methods.

Molars with exposed superficial dentin (N=240) were divided into 3 groups according to the test: microtensile (μTBS), microshear (μSBS), and micropush-out (μPBS). Each one was subdivided into 4 groups according to the adhesive system: total etch, 3- and 2-step; and self-etch, 2- and 1-step). For the μPBS test, a conical cavity was prepared and restored with composite resin. An occlusal slice (1.5 mm in thickness) was obtained from each tooth. For the μSBS test, a composite resin cylinder (1 mm in diameter) was built on the dentin surface of each tooth. For the μTBS test, a 2-increment composite resin cylinder was built on the dentin surface, and beams with a sectional area of 0.5 mm2 were obtained. Each subgroup was divided into 2 (n=10) as the specimens were tested after 7 days and 1 year of water storage. The specimens were submitted to load, and the failure recorded in units of megapascals. Original BS values from the μTBS and μSBS tests were normalized for the area from μPBS specimens. Original and normalized results were submitted to a 3-way ANOVA (α=.05). The correlation among mechanical results, stress distribution, and failure pattern was investigated.

Results.

Significant differences (P<.05) were found among the adhesive systems and methods within both the original and normalized data but not between the storage times (P>.05). Within the 7 days of storage, the original BS values from μTBS were significantly higher (P<.001) than those from μPBS and μSBS. After 1 year, μSBS presented significantly lower results (P<.001). However, after the normalization for area, the BS values of the μTBS and μPBS tests were similar, and both were higher (P<.001) than that of μSBS in both storage times. In the μSBS and μTBS specimens, cohesive and adhesive failures were observed, whereas μPBS presented 100% of adhesive failures. The failure modes were compatible with the stress distribution.

Conclusions.

The storage time did not affect the results, but differences were found among the adhesives and methods. For comparisons of bond strength from tests with different bonding areas, the normalization for area seemed essential. The microshear bond test should not be used for bond strength evaluation, and the microtensile test needs improvement to enable reliable results regarding stress concentration and failure mode. The micropush-out test may be considered more reliable than the microtensile in the bond strength investigation, as demonstrated by the uniform stress concentration and adhesive failure pattern.

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