Purpose: To measure microtensile bond strength (μTBS) of universal adhesives immediately and after 6-month aging, with or without an additional adhesive layer applied on a separately light-cured or non-light-cured universal adhesive.
Materials and Methods: Eighty human third molars were randomly assigned to 8 experimental groups. The universal adhesives Clearfil Universal Bond (Kuraray Noritake) and Single Bond Universal (3M Oral Care) were used in self-etch mode (following the manufacturers directions), and either light cured or not before application of an extra hydrophobic adhesive layer (Clearfil SE Bond bond, Kuraray Noritake). The two-step self-etch adhesives Clearfil SE Bond (Kuraray Noritake) and OptiBond XTR (Kerr) were used as references. After composite buildups were bonded to mid-coronal occlusal dentin surfaces, the specimens were stored in water (37°C/24 h) and sectioned into microspecimens (0.96 ± 0.04 mm2). Half of the specimens were immediately subjected to μTBS testing (1.0 mm/min), while the other half was stored in water (37°C) for 6 months prior to testing. Failure analysis was performed using stereomicroscopy and SEM. Data were analyzed with two-way repeated measures ANOVA, Tukeys and paired t-tests (p = 0.05).
Results: The immediate μTBS was similar for the universal adhesives when applied following the different application strategies (p > 0.05). Application of an extra layer of hydrophobic adhesive improved the aged μTBS of the universal adhesives, which was statistically significant when the universal adhesives were first light cured (p < 0.05). The reference adhesives Clearfil SE Bond and OptiBond XTR exhibited a significantly higher immediate and aged μTBS to dentin than did the universal adhesives (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: The bond durability of universal adhesives, applied in self-etch mode, was found to benefit from the application of an extra hydrophobic adhesive layer when the universal adhesives were first light cured.