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Dent Mater. 2005 May;21(5):397-412.

Self-etch vs etch-and-rinse adhesives: effect of thermo-mechanical fatigue loading on marginal quality of bonded resin composite restorations.

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  • 1Dental Clinic I Operative Dentistry and Periodontology, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Gl├╝ckstrasse 11, D-91054 Erlangen, Germany.



This study evaluated the marginal integrity of dentine adhesives bonded to enamel and dentine, before and after thermo-mechanical loading (TML).


MO cavities with proximal boxes beneath the CEJ were prepared in extracted human third molars. Direct resin composite restorations (Tetric Ceram) were bonded with 3-step etch-and-rinse (Syntac Classic, Solobond Plus, OptiBond FL), 2-step etch-and-rinse (Admira Bond, Single Bond), 2-step self-etch (AdheSE, Clearfil SE Bond), and 1-step self-etch (all-in-one) adhesives (Adper Prompt, Xeno III, iBond). Marginal gaps were analyzed using SEM of epoxy resin replicas. Bonded interfaces before TML were examined with TEM to identify pre-existing attributes for subsequent marginal disintegration.


In enamel, high percentages of gap-free margins were initially identified for all adhesives. After TML, etch-and-rinse adhesives exhibited significantly higher percentages of gap-free margins (approximately 90%) compared with two-step self-etch (approximately 75%) and all-in-one (approximately 55%) adhesives (p<0.05). iBond did not completely etch through the enamel smear layer. In dentine, 89-100% gap-free margins were initially observed. After TML, there were no statistical differences among etch-and-rinse (62-70%) and two-step self-etch (62-63%) adhesives (p>0.05). The all-in-one adhesives exhibited significantly less gap-free margins (<40%) in dentine (p<0.05), with iBond showing the worst marginal integrity (15%). The presence of pre-existing water channels within the adhesives probably expedited water sorption when restorations were under functional stresses.


Enamel bonding was more effective with phosphoric acid-etching. Etch-and-rinse and 2-step self-etch adhesives showed promising marginal adaptation to dentine and may have a better clinical prognosis than the all-in-one bonding approach.

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