Purpose: This study evaluated the effect of different physicochemical aging methods and surface conditioning techniques on the repair bond strength of composite. It was hypothesized that the aging conditions would decrease the repair bond strength and surface conditioning methods would perform similarly for the repair of resin composites. Materials and Methods: Disk-shaped resin composite specimens (Clearfil Photo Bright, Kuraray) were randomly assigned to one of the three aging conditions (N = 120, n = 12/per group): (1) immersion in deionized water (37°C, 1 week), (2) immersion in citric acid (pH: 3.0, 1 week), (3) boiling in water (8 h), (4) thermocycling (5000 times, 5°C to 55°C), (5) immersion in water (37°C, 2 months). After aging procedures, the specimens were subjected to one of the following surface conditioning methods: (1) chairside silica coating (30-μm SiOx) (CoJet, 3M ESPE) + silane (ESPE-Sil) (SC method), (2) silane (Clearfil SE Bond Primer and Clearfil Porcelain Bond Activator) + bonding agent (Clearfil SE Bond) (SB method). The fresh and aged composite surfaces were also examined using SEM (n = 6, 1/group). Resin composite (Quadrant Anterior Shine) was bonded to the conditioned substrates using polyethylene molds and then light polymerized. Shear force was applied to the adhesive interface in a universal testing machine (1 mm/min). The failure types were categorized as: A) cohesive in the substrate, B) adhesive at the interface, or C) cohesive in the adherend. Bond strength values were statistically analyzed using two-way ANOVA and Tukeys test (α ≤ 0.05). Results: A significant influence of the conditioning method (p < 0.0001) and aging method was observed (p < 0.01) (two-way ANOVA, Tukey-Kramer). The SC method showed significantly higher bond values (7.8 ± 1.2 to 11.6 ± 5 MPa) than those of SB method (4.6 ± 2.3 to 7.6 ± 3.9 MPa) in all groups (p < 0.0001). While the SC method showed 96% cohesive (A type), the SB method demonstrated 92% adhesive failures (B type). SEM images showed distinct pattern of microcracks in the boiled specimens and filler dissolution with disorganized matrix resin in the other aged specimens. Aging the composite substrates through water storage for 2 months produced significantly lower bond strengths than those of water or acid storage for 1 week (p = 0.011). Conclusion: Chairside silica coating and silanization provided the highest bond strength values with almost exclusively cohesive failures on aged composites. Aging methods showed significant differences on the composite-composite repair strength.
Keywords: physicochemical aging, repair, resin composite, silica coating, surface conditioning