Purpose: The purpose of this in-vitro study was to evaluate the resin bond strength to pre-etched lithium disilicate ceramic using different cleaning methods after two contamination modes (saliva or saliva and silicone). Materials and Methods: Plexiglas tubes filled with composite resin (MultiCore Flow) were bonded to etched and silanized ceramic disks made of lithium disilicate ceramic (IPS e.max Press) using a luting resin (Multilink Automix). Either etched or unetched ceramic surfaces were contaminated with saliva or with saliva followed by a disclosing silicone. Groups of 16 specimens each were bonded after pretreatment using 4 surface cleaning agents (37% phosphoric acid, 5% hydrofluoric acid, 96% isopropanol, air polishing device with sodium bicarbonate) in different combinations. Before measuring tensile bond strength, specimens were stored for 3 or 150 days with thermocycling. Results: After 150 days of storage, etching of saliva-contaminated surfaces with 5% hydrofluoric acid and/or 37% phosphoric acid provided statistically significantly higher bond strengths (37.9 to 49.5 MPa) than the other cleaning methods (1.7 to 15.5 MPa). After saliva and silicone contamination, etching with 5% hydrofluoric acid provided statistically significantly higher bond strengths (44.5 to 50.3 MPa) than all other cleaning methods (0.3 to 13.5 MPa). Conclusion: Ceramic cleaning methods after try-in procedures have a significant influence on the resin bond strength and are dependent on the type of contamination. Re-etching lithium disilicate ceramic with 5% hydrofluoric acid is most effective in removing contamination with saliva and/or a silicone disclosing medium.
Keywords: lithium disilicate ceramic, cleaning, contamination, tensile bond strength