The purpose of this study was to compare the cytotoxicity of five one-step dentin-bonding agents on human dental pulp and odontoblast-like cells (MDPC-23). Photopolymerized and unpolymerized samples of these dentin-bonding agents were prepared and incubated with dental pulp or MDPC-23 cells. After 24 or 72 h of incubation, the number of unstained cells with trypan blue was counted. The staining of cells with trypan blue stands for a cytotoxicity. The pulp cell and MDPC-23 cytotoxicity of polymerized sample treatment increased in the order of AQ Bond Plus (AQ)<Clearfil Tri-S Bond (TS)=G-bond (GB)<Absolute (AB)<Adper Prompt (AP) for 24 and 72 h. The pulp cell cytotoxicity of unpolymerized sample treatment for 24 h increased in the order of AQ<GB = AB<TS<AP. The MDPC-23 cytotoxicity of unpolymerized sample treatment for 24 h increased in the order of AQ<GB<TS = AB<AP. Whether polymerized or unpolymerized, AQ was the least cytotoxic agent, while AP was the strongest. All polymerized dentin-bonding agents exhibited lower cytotoxicity by 2-65% than their unpolymerized counterparts. The appearance of the cytotoxicity of dentin-bonding agents was time-dependent, and cell viability was lower at 72 h by 2-46% than at 24 h. The cytotoxicity to MDPC-23 cells was about 5-24% higher than that to pulp cells. These results indicate that one-step dentin-bonding agents differ markedly in their cytotoxicity. Differential cytotoxic effects of one-step dentin-bonding agents should be considered during clinical application of operative restoration.
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