The ability of adhesive resins to restore the physical properties of demineralized dentin has not been well-documented. The unfilled resins that are used for adhesion have relatively low moduli of elasticity and limited ability to increase dentin stiffness, although they may increase the ultimate tensile strength of dentin. This study tested the hypothesis that resin infiltration of demineralized dentin can restore its tensile properties to those of mineralized dentin. Small (ca. 0.5 mm thick x 0.5 mm wide) specimens of demineralized human dentin were infiltrated with one of five different dentin bonding resins over many hours, to determine how these resins altered the tensile properties of dentin. Tensile stress and strain were measured in these and control (mineralized and demineralized) specimens until their ultimate failure. The results indicate that some adhesive resins, after infiltrating demineralized dentin, can restore and even exceed the ultimate tensile strength of mineralized dentin. These resins increased the modulus of elasticity of resin-infiltrated dentin to values equal to or greater than those of the resins but far below those of mineralized dentin. Although the conditions in this experiment were far removed from the manufacturer's recommendations or clinical practice, the results support the potential of resin infiltration for reinforcing dentin.
- tensile strength
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