Touch-Cure Polymerization at the Composite Cement-Dentin Interface

Kumiko Yoshihara, N. Nagaoka, Y. Benino, A. Nakamura, T. Hara, Y. Maruo, Y. Yoshida, B. Van Meerbeek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Ceramic restorations are often adhesively luted onto the tooth prep. The so-called touch-cure concept was developed to yield optimum polymerization of composite cement at the restoration-cement-tooth interface for immediate bond stabilization. Although this touch cure is theorized to initiate polymerization at the interface when the accelerator in the primer makes contact with the cement, this process has not yet been proven. This study aimed to elucidate the mechanism of touch cure by measuring the degree of conversion (DC) of composite cement applied with or without an accelerator-containing tooth primer (TP) versus an accelerator-free primer using real-time Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (RT-FTIR) and attenuated total reflection (ATR)–FTIR. Interfacial bond strength was measured in shear mode, the accelerator composition confirmed by X-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF), and the interfacial interaction of TP and composite cement with dentin investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD), focused-ion-beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) with 3-dimensional interface reconstruction, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). RT/ATR-FTIR revealed the significantly highest DC when the composite cement was applied with the accelerator-containing primer. XRF disclosed a vanadium compound as a novel chemical accelerator within TP, instead of a classic chemical curing initiator system, to set off touch cure as soon the cement contacts the previously applied primer. Although the TP contains the acidic functional monomer 10-MDP for adhesion to tooth tissue, touch cure using the accelerator-containing TP combined the fastest/highest DC with the highest bond strength. FIB-SEM and TEM confirmed the tight interfacial interaction at dentin with submicron hybridization along with stable 10-MDP also Ca-salt nanolayering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)935-942
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy
  • X-ray fluorescence
  • dental adhesives
  • dental cements
  • electron microscopy
  • polymerization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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