This study evaluated the effect of argon plasma treatment (PLA) and its combination with sandblasting (SAN), silanization (SIL), and hydrophobic bonding resin (HBR) application on the micro-shear bond strength of water-aged restorative resin composite to a newly placed composite, simulating restoration repair.
Forty-five light-cured composite plates (20-mm long × 20-mm wide × 4-mm thick) were fabricated using a hybrid composite and stored at 37°C in distilled water for six months. The aged composite surfaces were treated according to the following experimental groups, varying both treatment and order of application: 1) SAN + SIL + HBR (control), 2) SAN + PLA for 30 seconds + SIL + HBR, 3) SAN + SIL + PLA + HBR, 4) PLA + SIL + HBR, 5) PLA + SIL, 6) PLA + HBR, 7) SIL + PLA + HBR, 8) SIL + PLA, and 9) PLA. After the surface treatments, four fresh resin composite cylinders (1.5-mm high × 1.5-mm diameter) of the same composite were built on each aged composite surface using a silicone mold. After water storage for 24 hours or one year, the specimens were submitted to shear bond strength testing. Data were statistically analyzed by two-way analysis of variance and Tukey's test (5%).
Groups 1, 2, and 4 presented significantly higher bond strength means at 24 hours, although group 4 did not differ from group 7. Groups 5, 8, and 9 demonstrated significantly lower means than the other groups. Even though groups 1 and 2 had a significant bond strength reduction after 1 year, they still demonstrated higher bond strength at one year of storage.
While PLA application combined with surface treatment methods demonstrated high bond strength results, this treatment alone was not as beneficial as other methods that included SAN, SIL and HBR.