Objective: The success of vital pulp therapy is crucial to preserve the integrity of the teeth and to enable an uninterrupted root formation in a young permanent tooth. This warrants placement of an intact permanent seal immediately in contact with the pulp capping material. Mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) sets by hydration and deters placement of an immediate permanent resin composite restoration over it. The aim of this in vitro study is to evaluate the wettability, surface morphology and shear bond strength (SBS) of polydopamine (PDA)-pretreated MTA to resin composite (RC).
Methods: The contact angle (CA) and morphological changes caused by self-etch (SE) adhesive on untreated and PDA-pretreated MTA was analyzed using contact angle meter and scanning electron microscope (SEM) respectively. To evaluate SBS, 144 MTA samples were prepared using a custom-made mold of 5 mm diameter and 3 mm height. The samples were randomly divided into two groups of 72 samples each based on whether their surface was pretreated with PDA or not. Under each group, nano-hybrid RC restoration was done either immediately or after a delay of 3 h, 24 h and 96 h. SBS of the MTA/resin composite assembly was tested in a universal testing machine. CA values were analyzed using One-way analysis of variance and Games-Howell Post Hoc test. Mann-Whitney test and Friedman post-hoc Dunn test were used to analyze SBS values.
Results: SE adhesive made a significantly lesser mean CA with PDA-pretreated MTA (27.20°±2.28) compared to untreated MTA (34.22°±1.45, p<0.05). SEM micrographs showed that while etching with SE primer eroded the surface characteristics, PDA coating minimized the erosive effect of the acidic primer and preserved the original crystalline plate-like structure of MTA. At all tested time intervals, PDA pretreatment significantly increased the SBS of MTA to RC, compared to untreated control. Immediate bond strength of PDA pretreated MTA (26.30±7.60 MPa) was equivalent to the SBS value achieved at 96 h with untreated MTA (27.82±2.96 MPa).
Conclusion: Within the limitations of this in vitro study, it can be concluded that PDA pretreatment of MTA surface improved its wettability, prevented loss of surface integrity following etching and increased the SBS of RC to MTA. (EEJ-2022-11-144)