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Silane adhesion mechanism in dental applications and surface treatments

To give a current review of silane adhesion chemistry, applications of silane coupling agents and related surface pretreatment methods in contemporary dentistry.

Silane coupling agents are adhesion promoters to chemically unify dissimilar materials used in dentistry. Silanes are very effective in adhesion promotion between resin composites and silica-based or silica-coated indirect restorative materials. It is generally accepted that for non-silica-based restorations, surface pretreatment is a mandatory preliminary step to increase the silica content and then, with help of silane, improve resin bonding. This review discusses the silane-based adhesion chemistry, silane applications in dentistry, surface pretreatment methods, and presents the recent development of silane coupling agents.

A silane coupling agent is considered a reliable, good adhesion promoter to silica-based (or silica-coated) indirect restorations. Surface pre-treatment steps, e.g., acid etching for porcelain and tribo-chemical silica-coating for metal alloys, is used before silanization to attain strong, durable bonding of the substrate to resin composite. In clinical practice, however, the main problem of resin bonding using silanes and other coupling agents is the weakening of the bond (degradation) in the wet oral environment over time.

A silane coupling agent is a justified and popular adhesion promoter (adhesive primer) used in dentistry. The commercial available silane coupling agents can fulfil the requirements in clinical practice for durable bonding. Development of new silane coupling agents, their optimization, and surface treatment methods are in progress to address the long term resin bond durability and are highly important.