Purpose: To examine the influence of etching duration on the bond strength of PEEK substrate in combination with different resin composite cements.
Materials and methods: In total, 448 PEEK specimens were fabricated, etched with sulfuric acid for 5, 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, and 300 s and then luted with two conventional resin cements (RelyX ARC and Variolink II) and one self-adhesive resin cement (Clearfil SA Cement) (n = 18/subgroup). Non-etched specimens served as the control group. Specimens were stored in distilled water for 28 days at 37°C and shear bond strengths were measured. Data were analyzed nonparametrically using Kruskal-Wallis-H (p < 0.05).
Results: Non-etched PEEK demonstrated no bond strength to resin composite cements. The optimal etching duration varied with the type of resin composite: 60 s for RelyX ARC (15.3 ± 7.2 MPa), 90 s for Variolink II (15.2 ± 7.2 MPa), and 120 s for Clearfil SA Cement (6.4 ± 5.9 MPa). Regardless of etching duration, however, the self-etching resin composite cement showed significantly lower shear bond strength values when compared to groups luted with the conventional resin composites.
Conclusion: Although sulfuric acid seems to be suitable and effective for PEEK surface pre-treatment, further investigations are required to examine the effect of other adhesive systems and cements.