The present work examined the effects of dipentaerythritol penta-acrylate phosphate (PENTA) as an alternative phosphate ester monomer for bonding of methacrylate-based resins to yttria-stabilized tetragonal zirconia polycrystals (Y-TZP) and further investigated the potential bonding mechanism involved. Shear bond strength testing was performed to evaluate the efficacy of experimental PENTA-containing primers (5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 wt% PENTA in acetone) in improving resin-Y-TZP bond strength. Bonding without the use of a PENTA-containing served as the negative control, and a Methacryloyloxidecyl dihydrogenphosphate(MDP)-containing primer was used as the positive control. Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) were used to investigate the potential existence of chemical affinity between PENTA and Y-TZP. Shear bond strengths were significant higher in the 15 and 20 wt% PENTA groups. The ICP-MS, XPS and FTIR data indicated that the P content on the Y-TZP surface increased as the concentration of PENTA increased in the experimental primers, via the formation of Zr-O-P bond. Taken together, the results attest that PENTA improves resin bonding of Y-TZP through chemical reaction with Y-TZP. Increasing the concentration of PENTA augments its binding affinity but not its bonding efficacy with zirconia.
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