Tooth-coloured plastic dental fillings secured by adhesives to tooth structures are widely used to fix decayed teeth. Whereas laboratory tests demonstrate rapid deterioration of the ability of the adhesives to stick to dentine, clinical studies show that these fillings are relatively durable. This discrepancy suggests that the parameters used for simulating bond degradation in the laboratory setting do not correlate well with clinical outcomes. The present study examined the long-term tensile bond strength of resin composite fillings performed in real life and under different laboratory-simulated bonding conditions to identify parameters that may be used to forecast the durability of adhesive bonds created in dentine. Fillings placed in vivo were subjected to different periods of intraoral function. In vitro specimens were bonded based on whether simulated pulpal pressure (SPP) or thermomechanical cycling was implemented, and how long the completed fillings were stored in water. Thermomechanical cycling used in combination with long-term water ageing are useful in forecasting the decline in strength of resin-dentine bonds created in vivo. These parameters should be adopted for future evaluations. Conversely, the use of SPP does not appear to be a significant parameter in the simulation of long-term clinical deterioration of bond integrity.
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