The overwet phenomenon: A transmission electron microscopic study of surface moisture in the acid-conditioned, resin-dentin interface

Franklin R. Tay, A. John Gwinnett, Stephen H.Y. Wei

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Purpose: To identify ultrastructural features resulting from possible primer-water interaction when a two-bottle, acetone- and alcohol-based dentin adhesive (All-Bond 2) was applied to acid-conditioned dentin in the presence of excess water. Materials and Methods: Three groups (3-second dry, visibly moist, overwet), each comprising eight dentin discs prepared from human third molars, were established and bonded with All-Bond 2 under different degrees of surface moisture. Variations in the ultrastructural appearance of the resin-dentin interface from laboratory demineralized and epoxy resin embedded disc pairs were examined either with en bloc ruthenium red pre-staining alone or further stained with uranyl acetate and lead citrate. Results: Displacement of water by the volatile primer solvents resulted in the formation of a layer of resin-impregnated dentin in the three groups. Interaction of the primer with water following the evaporation of the volatile primer solvents resulted in phase separation of the primer components. Ultrastructural features observed within the previously water-filled blister-like spaces on the dentin surface in the visibly moist and overwet groups recapitulated what was observed within partially water-filled dentin tubules in the 3-second dry group. The overwet phenomenon appeared to be a result of emulsion polymerization, involving irreversible interaction of water-soluble bifunctional primer components with those that are water-immiscible, through the formation of micelles, resulting in the absence of total interfacial integrity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-166
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of dentistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1996
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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