New methods are needed that can predict the clinical failure of dental restorations that primarily rely on dentin bonding. Existing methods have shortcomings, e.g. severe deviation in the actual stress distribution from theory and a large standard deviation in the measured bond strength. We introduce here a novel test specimen by examining an endodontic model for dentin bonding. Specifically, we evaluated the feasibility of using the modified Brazilian disk test to measure the post-dentin interfacial bond strength. Four groups of resin composite disks which contained a slice of dentin with or without an intracanal post in the center were tested under diametral compression until fracture. Advanced nondestructive examination and imaging techniques in the form of acoustic emission (AE) and digital image correlation (DIC) were used innovatively to capture the fracture process in real time. DIC showed strain concentration first appearing at one of the lateral sides of the post-dentin interface. The appearance of the interfacial strain concentration also coincided with the first AE signal detected. Utilizing both the experimental data and finite-element analysis, the bond/tensile strengths were calculated to be: 11.2 MPa (fiber posts), 12.9 MPa (metal posts), 8.9 MPa (direct resin fillings) and 82.6 MPa for dentin. We have thus established the feasibility of using the composite disk in diametral compression to measure the bond strength between intracanal posts and dentin. The new method has the advantages of simpler specimen preparation, no premature failure, more consistent failure mode and smaller variations in the calculated bond strength.
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