Purpose: This follow-up of a randomized clinical split-mouth study aimed to investigate the influence of selective enamel etching on the long-term clinical performance of partial ceramic crowns (PCCs) luted with a self-adhesive resin cement.
Keywords: partial ceramic crown, self-adhesive, enamel etching, long-term
Materials and Methods: 43 patients received two PCCs (Vita Mark II; Cerec 3D) each for the restoration of extensive lesions with multiple cusp coverage, inserted with a self-adhesive resin cement (RelyX Unicem, RXU). Using a split-mouth design, one PCC received additional selective enamel etching (RXU+E) and one did not (RXU-E). Patients were clinically evaluated at baseline and after up to 15 years (median observation period 176 months) using modified USPHS and FDI criteria. The data were analyzed non-parametrically (chi-squared tests, α = 0.05). Clinical survival of all restorations after 15 years was evaluated using the Kaplan-Meier analysis.
Results: After 15 years, 19 patients were available for clinical assessment (recall rate: 56%). Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a cumulative survival of 78.1% for RXU+E and of 42.9% for RXU-E, indicating a significantly higher survival rate for RXU+E (p = 0.004). Regarding the clinical performance of PCCs available for the 15-year evaluation, no statistically significant differences were found between RXU+E and RXU-E using modified USPHS and FDI criteria. Both groups revealed significant deterioration over time regarding surface luster, marginal adaptation, and marginal discoloration. RXU+E resulted in significantly inferior anatomic form over time and a significant improvement in post-operative hypersensitivity compared to baseline.
Conclusion: For posterior PCCs, selective enamel etching can be recommended based on higher survival rates after 15 years. Clinically, deterioration due to aging is similar in both groups.