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Dent Mater. 2005 Sep;21(9):864-81.

Clinical effectiveness of contemporary adhesives: a systematic review of current clinical trials.

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Leuven BIOMAT Research Cluster, Department of Conservative Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Oral Pathology and Maxillo-facial Surgery, Catholic University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.



The purpose of this paper was to review current literature on the clinical effectiveness of contemporary adhesives when used to restore cervical non-carious class-V lesions. Restoration retention in function of time was recorded in order to find out if adhesives with a simplified application procedure are as clinically effective as conventional three-step adhesives.


Literature published from January 1998 up to May 2004 was reviewed for university-centred clinical trials that tested the clinical effectiveness of adhesives in non-carious class-V lesions. Restoration-retention rates per adhesive reported in peer-reviewed papers as well as IADR-AADR abstracts and ConsEuro abstracts were included and depicted as a function of time in graphs for each of the five adhesive classes (three- and two-step etch-and-rinse adhesives, two- and one-step self-etch adhesives, and glass-ionomers). The guidelines for dentin and enamel adhesive materials advanced by the American Dental Association were used as a reference. Per class, the annual failure rate (%) was calculated. Kruskal-Wallis analysis and Dwass-Steel-Chritchlow-Fligner pairwise comparisons were used to determine statistical differences between the annual failure percentages of the five adhesive categories.


Comparison of retention of class-V adhesive restorations as a measure to determine clinical bonding effectiveness of adhesives revealed that glass-ionomers most effectively and durably bond to tooth tissue. Three-step etch-and-rinse adhesives and two-step self-etch adhesives showed a clinically reliable and predictably good clinical performance. The clinical effectiveness of two-step etch-and-rinse adhesives was less favourable, while an inefficient clinical performance was noted for the one-step self-etch adhesives.


Although there is a tendency towards adhesives with simplified application procedures, simplification so far appears to induce loss of effectiveness. Clinical performance can be correlated with, and predicted by, appropriate types of laboratory study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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