In vitro bond strengths of amalgam added to existing amalgams

Oper Dent. May-Jun 2010;35(3):314-23. doi: 10.2341/09-180-L.


This study determined if a standardized condensation force and dwell time per condensation pressure point could reliably bond new amalgam to older amalgam without applying extrinsic Hg. A stabilization jig was created to hold 15 friction-fit 1-inch diameter (25 mm) cylindrical resin specimen blocks face up with cavities drilled to contain the condensed primary amalgam (Valiant PhD-XT). Freshly mixed secondary amalgam (Valiant PhD-XT) was condensed against the primary amalgam surfaces through the 3.5-mm-diameter central holes of specially fabricated split-ring molds. The 15 disks fit snugly within the holes of the stabilization jig tray. Condensation was with a consistent, calibrated force of 22.5 MPa (4 lbs/0.79 mm2) applied with a spring-loaded amalgam carrier custom adapted with a 1-mm-diameter stainless steel condenser tip. Secondary amalgam additions were built up in three 1-mm thick increments with a pattern of eight 22.5 MPa two-second condenser strokes per incremental layer. Shear-bond testing with a 1-mm/minute crosshead speed occurred 24-hours post-condensation. One-way analysis of variance statistical analysis was conducted to analyze the results. The mean shear-bond forces (MPa, N = 15) found were: Control 28.1 +/- 5, 15 minutes 31 +/-5, one hour 10.7 +/-4 (N = 30), one day 25.5 +/- 4, one week 25.2 +/- 4, two months 25.1 +/- 5 and seven years 24.7 +/- 4. Under the condensation pressures used in the current study, the addition of new amalgam to smooth previously set amalgam surfaces, not including the one-hour group, up to seven years old, resulted in shear-bond forces not statistically different (p = 0.05) from the intact control. Virtually all (94%) of the bonds tested, except for the one-hour sample, resulted in cohesive rather than adhesive failures except those of the one-hour sample. Forty percent bond strengths of the controls were achieved when only 5.6 MPa (1 lb/0.79 mm2) and 14 MPa (2.5 lb/0.79 mm2) condensation pressures were used.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Copper / chemistry
  • Dental Alloys / chemistry
  • Dental Amalgam / chemistry*
  • Dental Bonding*
  • Dental Prosthesis Repair
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Materials Testing
  • Mercury / chemistry
  • Palladium / chemistry
  • Pressure
  • Shear Strength
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Surface Properties
  • Temperature
  • Time Factors


  • Dental Alloys
  • Palladium
  • Copper
  • Dental Amalgam
  • Valiant PhD
  • Mercury