Journal of Dental Research vol:82 issue:2 pages:136-40
Resin-dentin bonds degrade over time. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of variables like hybridization effectiveness and diffusion/elution of interface components on degradation. Hypotheses tested were: (1) There is no difference in degradation over time between two- and three-step total-etch adhesives; and (2) a composite-enamel bond protects the adjacent composite-dentin bond against degradation. The micro-tensile bond strength (microTBS) to dentin of 2 three-step total-etch adhesives was compared with that of 2 two-step total-etch adhesives after 4 years of storage in water. Quantitative and qualitative failure analyses were conducted correlating Fe-SEM and TEM. Indirect exposure to water did not significantly reduce the microTBS of any adhesive, while direct exposure resulted in a significantly reduced microTBS of both two-step adhesives. It is concluded that resin bonded to enamel protected the resin-dentin bond against degradation, while direct exposure to water for 4 years affected bonds produced by two-step total-etch adhesives.