OBJECTIVE: To test the null hypothesis that combining low-viscosity caries infiltrant with conventional adhesive resins would not improve sealing of sound enamel against demineralization in vitro.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Bovine enamel discs (N = 60) with diameter of 3 mm were randomly assigned to six groups (n = 10). The discs were etched with 37% phosphoric acid for 30 seconds and treated with resins of different monomer content forming the following groups: (1) Icon (DMG), (2) Transbond XT Primer (3M ESPE), (3) Heliobond (Ivoclar Vivadent), (4) Icon + Transbond XT Primer, and (5) Icon + Heliobond. Untreated etched samples served as the negative control. Specimens were subjected to demineralization by immersion in hydrochloric acid (pH 2.6) for 80 hours. Calcium dissolution into the acid was assessed by colorimetric analysis using Arsenazo III method at 16-hour intervals. Groups presenting high protection against demineralization were subjected to further acidic challenge for 15 days with calcium measurements repeated at 24-hour intervals. Data were analyzed by Kruskal-Wallis test and Mann-Whitney U-test.
RESULTS: Untreated specimens showed the highest amount of demineralization. Icon and Transbond XT primer decreased the mineral loss significantly compared to the control. Heliobond performed significantly better than both Icon and Transbond XT primer. Combination of Icon both with Transbond XT primer or Heliobond served as the best protective measures and maintained the protective effect for the additional 15-day acidic challenge.
CONCLUSIONS: Within the limitations of this in vitro study, it could be concluded that the use of low-viscosity caries infiltrant prior to application of the tested conventional adhesives increases their protective effect against demineralization.