This in vitro
study was conducted to evaluate the shear bond strength of “non-self-adhesive” resin to dental zirconia etched with hydrofluoric acid (HF) at room temperature and to compare it to that of air-abraded zirconia. Sintered zirconia plates were air-abraded (control) or etched with 10%, 20%, or 30% HF for either 5 or 30 min. After cleaning, the surfaces were characterized using various analytical techniques. Three resin cylinders (Duo-Link) were bonded to each treated plate. All bonded specimens were stored in water at 37 °C for 24 h, and then half of them were additionally thermocycled 5000 times prior to the shear bond-strength tests (n
= 12). The formation of micro- and nano-porosities on the etched surfaces increased with increasing concentration and application time of the HF solution. The surface wettability of zirconia also increased with increasing surface roughness. Higher concentrations and longer application times of the HF solution produced higher bond-strength values. Infiltration of the resin into the micro- and nano-porosities was observed by scanning electron microscopy. This in vitro
study suggests that HF slowly etches zirconia ceramic surfaces at room temperature, thereby improving the resin–zirconia bond strength by the formation of retentive sites.
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