Purpose: To evaluate the effect of plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) with silicon hydride (SiH4) at different times on HT-zirconia surface characteristics and bonding of composite cement before and after thermocycling.
Keywords: dental ceramics, zirconia, silicon, aging, bond strength
Materials and Methods: Blocks of HT zirconia were obtained, polished, sintered and divided into five groups, according to PECVD time (n = 31): Zr-30 (30 s), Zr-60 (60 s), Zr-120 (120 s) and Zr-300 (300 s). The control group (Zr-0) did not receive PECVD. X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) in conjunction with field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), goniometry, and profilometry tests were used for chemical and topographic characterization. Monobond N silane (Ivoclar Vivadent) was applied to the surface, and a cylinder of composite cement (Variolink N) was made (3 x 3 mm). Half of the specimens of each group were stored for 24 h or subjected to thermocycling (6 x 103 cycles). A shear bond strength (SBS) test was performed. Results were subjected to one-way ANOVA and Tukey’s tests (α = 0.05).
Results: For experimental groups, XPS showed that formation of Si-O bonds contributed to increased surface free energy (SFE). FE-SEM and EDS showed that the longer the deposition time, the greater the amount of silicon on the surface. Zr-60 and Zr-300 presented higher and lower surface roughnesses, respectively. The silicon penetrated the microstructure, causing higher stress concentrations. The bond strength to composite cement was improved after all PECVD deposition times.
Conclusion: The PECVD technique with SiH4, associated with chemical treatment with primer based on silane methacrylate, is a solely chemical surface treatment capable of maintaining bonding between composite cement and HT zirconia.