Purpose: To compare effects of free-hand and mechanically applied uniform irradiation on tensile bond strength of 4- META/MMA-TBB resin to Er:YAG laser-irradiated dentin using an X-Y moving stage. Materials and Methods: Three different laser conditions were evaluated: 1.0 W, 100 mJ/pulse, 10 pps; 1.0 W, 50 mJ/pulse, 20 pps; 1.0 W, 33 mJ/pulse, 30 pps. Samples of bovine dentin were set on a moving stage and mechanically irradiated with an Er:YAG laser at a scanning speed of 1.0 mm/s or subjected to free-hand irradiation. The lased dentin surfaces were acid conditioned with 10% citric acid/3% ferric chloride for 15 s, rinsed, and dried. The surfaces were bonded to PMMA rods with 4-META/MMA-TBB resin, and mini-dumbbell-shaped bonded specimens were prepared. Tensile bond strength was measured and compared with the results for free-hand irradiated samples obtained under the same conditions in an earlier study. SEM observations of fractured surfaces after tensile bond testing were also performed. Results: A significant difference was found in tensile bond strength among the 3 laser settings in both free-hand and mechanically uniform irradiations. A comparison of free-hand laser irradiation and mechanically performed uniform laser irradiation revealed no significant difference under either laser condition (p > 0.05). SEM observation of the fractured surfaces showed no difference between the two irradiation methods under all laser conditions. Conclusion: No significant difference was found in tensile bond strength between free-hand and mechanically irradiated dentin. Significant differences were found, however, with changes in laser setting in both groups.
Keywords: Er:YAG laser, dentin bonding, 4-META/MMA-TBB resin, laser energy, pulse frequency, output energy