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Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2002 May;121(5):502-9.

The relationship between acid-etch patterns and bond survival in vivo.

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  • 1Department of Child Dental Health, Newcastle Dental School, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.


The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between acid-etch quality and bond survival in vivo. The subjects were 29 orthodontic patients. High-resolution silicone impressions were taken of the buccal tooth surfaces after etching for 30 seconds with 37% phosphoric acid. The impressions were replicated in epoxy resin and examined under high magnification in a scanning electron microscope. A 4-point classification system and histometric techniques were used to evaluate etch patterns on the enamel surfaces where orthodontic brackets were to be bonded. After impressions were made, all teeth (including first molars) were bonded with 0.022-in Andrews' prescription brackets ("A" Company, San Diego, Calif) and Right-On composite (TP Orthodontics, Leeds, England). The first date of bond failure for each tooth was recorded; it varied from 1 to 806 days. An ideal etch pattern was found on less than 5% of the orthodontic bonding area; type C pattern (pitted enamel surface) occupied the greatest area. Overall, the failure rate was 55.8% over 26 months; the greatest failure rate occurred in first molars. Multiple regression analysis revealed a positive and statistically significant relationship between the area occupied by ideal etch type and the length of survival of the bond (P <.001).

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