The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of blood contamination on the shear bond strength and failure site of 2 orthodontic primers (Transbond XT and Transbond MIP; 3M/Unitek, Monrovia, Calif) when used with adhesive-precoated brackets (APC II brackets; 3M/Unitek). One hundred twenty bovine permanent mandibular incisors were randomly divided into 8 groups; each group contained 15 specimens. Each primer-adhesive combination was tested under a different enamel surface condition: dry, blood contamination before priming, blood contamination after priming, or blood contamination before and after priming. Stainless steel APC II brackets were bonded to the teeth. After bonding, all samples were stored in distilled water at room temperature for 24 hours and subsequently tested for shear bond strength. Noncontaminated enamel surfaces had the highest bond strengths for both conventional and hydrophilic primers; their values were almost the same. Under blood-contaminated conditions, both primers showed significantly lower shear bond strengths. For each type of primer, no significant differences were reported among the blood-contaminated groups. Significant differences in debond locations were found among the groups bonded with the 2 primers under the various enamel surface conditions. Blood contamination of enamel during the bonding procedure of conventional and hydrophilic primers significantly lowers their bond strength values and might produce a bond strength that is not clinically adequate.
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