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Dent Mater. 2006 Mar;22(3):211-22. Epub 2005 Aug 8.

Hygroscopic and hydrolytic effects in dental polymer networks.

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Division of Biomaterials and Biomechanics, Department of Restorative Dentistry, Oregon Health & Science University, 611 S.W. Campus Drive, Portland, OR, USA.



The objective of this manuscript is to outline the factors associated with hygroscopic and hydrolytic effects in dental polymer networks, and to review the literature generated over the past thirty years or more in this area.


Information was gathered from nearly 90 published articles or abstracts appearing in the dental and polymer literature. Studies were predominantly identified through a search of the PubMED database.


Studies were included that provided direct evidence for the uptake of solvent by a polymer network and its subsequent physical or chemical effect, or the loss of molecular species into solvents. An attempt was made to select articles that spanned the timeframe from approximately 1970 to today to ensure that most of the classic literature as well as the latest information was included.


Dental polymer networks have been shown to be susceptible to hygroscopic and hydrolytic effects to varying extents dependent upon their chemistry and structure. The importance of these effects on the clinical performance of polymer restoratives is largely unknown, though numerous investigators have alluded to the potential for reduced service lives.


While the physical and mechanical properties of these materials may be significantly altered by the effects of solvent uptake and component elution, what may constitute the greatest concern is the short-term release of unreacted components and the long-term elution of degradation products in the oral cavity, both of which should be strongly considered during restorative material development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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