Since the use of dentin antiproteolytic agents with universal adhesives (UAs) can potentially degrade the bonding interface, this study evaluated bond strengths with and without chlorhexidine (CHX) on variously altered dentin surfaces for up to 20 months.
Human molar specimens (n=20) were categorized by substrates as S=sound, E=eroded, and C=carious, and by pretreatment as W=water or CHX. These specimens were subjected to micro-tensile bond strength (μTBS) testing at 24 hours, 6 months, and 20 months, after 30 seconds of pretreatment with CHX or W, followed by self-etching and bonding (Adper Single Bond Universal, 3M ESPE). Modes of failure were assessed using optical microscopy (40×) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and the results were analyzed by 3-way ANOVA and Tukey’s statistical tests (α=0.05).
Substrate (p<0.001), pre-treatment (p=0.0413), and time (p<0.0001) were statistically significant. The sound-dentin group in initial time (W=39.27/CHX=40.55) yielded the higher υTBS values (MPa) in comparison with altered substrates pre-treated with CHX (E-CHX=19.84; C-CHX=18.24) after 20 months, which showed the lowest values. Under SEM analysis, heterogeneous patterns appeared in the hybrid layer of the CHX-treated group, particularly in the altered substrates.
Bond strength to dentin decreased over a period of 20 months using UA with methacryloyloxydecyl-dihydrogen phosphate (MDP) in self-etching mode. Substrates altered by erosion or caries have impaired adhesion and associated clinical use of UA with MDP and CHX should be avoided.