The degree of conversion of contemporary universal adhesives positively correlates with the bond strength to dentin. The correlation is more marked after thermocycling, suggesting that a high degree of conversion is required for long-term dentin bonding durability.
Purpose: The objectives of this study were to evaluate the micro-tensile bond strength (μTBS) of five contemporary universal adhesives to dentin after 24 hours and thermocycling (TC), to measure their degrees of conversion (DC) and to test the correlation between μTBS and DC.
Methods and Materials: Four commercially available universal adhesives, Prime&Bond universal (PBU), Ecosite Bond (EB), G-Premio Bond (GPB), and Clearfil Universal Bond Quick (UBQ), and one experimental adhesive, UBQ without an amide monomer (UBQ-A), were used in this study. For the μTBS test, midcoronal dentin of 50 human molars was exposed, ground using 600-grit SiC paper, and the adhesives were applied according to the manufacturers’ instructions. After resin-composite buildup and 24-hour water storage, one-half of the specimens were subjected to 15,000 thermal cycles. The specimens were sectioned into beams and stressed in tension at a crosshead speed of 1 mm/min until failure. The DC of adhesives applied to dentin was evaluated using attenuated total reflectance Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy immediately after light-curing. All data were statistically analyzed at a significance level of 0.05.
Results: The highest μTBSs were obtained with UBQ, UBQ-A, and PBU, which were not significantly different from each other both after 24 hours and TC. The μTBS of GPB was lower compared with the aforementioned adhesives, but significantly only after TC, and the lowest μTBSs were obtained with EB. TC did not affect the μTBSs of UBQ, UBQ-A, and PBU significantly, but a significant decrease was observed with GPB and EB. The highest DC was obtained with PBU and UBQ, followed by 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate–rich adhesives UBQ-A and EB, which exhibited significantly lower DCs. The DC of GPB could not be determined because the reference peak at 1608 cm−1 was not detected in its spectra. A significant positive correlation was shown between μTBS and DC after 24 hours (r=0.716) and TC (r=0.856).
Conclusion: μTBS and DC were positively correlated, more markedly after TC, which suggests that DC may be an important factor for bond durability.