A challenge to the conventional wisdom that simultaneous etching and resin infiltration always occurs in self-etch adhesives

Ricardo M. Carvalho, Stefano Chersoni, Roland Frankenberger, David H. Pashley, Carlo Prati, Franklin R. Tay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

229 Scopus citations


This study provided morphological evidence that discrepancies between the depth of demineralisation and the depth of resin infiltration can occur in some mild self-etch adhesives. Sound dentine specimens derived from extracted human third molars were bonded with 5 one-step and 5 two-step self-etch adhesives. One millimeter thick slabs containing the resin-dentine interfaces were immersed in 50wt% aqueous ammoniacal silver nitrate and processed for TEM examination. A zone of partially etched but uninfiltrated dentine was identified beneath the hybrid layers in the milder versions of both one-step and two-step self-etch adhesives. This zone was characterised by the occurrence of silver deposits along the interfibrillar spaces of mineralised collagen fibrils. The silver infiltrated interfibrillar spaces were clearly identified from the one-step self-etch adhesives Xeno III, iBond, Brush&Bond and the experimental adhesive, and were thinner and only occasionally observed in the two-step self-etch adhesives Clearfil SE Bond and Clearfil Protect Bond. The more aggressive one-step and two-step adhesives that exhibit more abrupt transitions from completely demineralised to mineralised dentin were devoid of these silver-infiltrated interfibrillar spaces beneath the hybrid layers. Incomplete resin infiltration observed in some self-etch adhesives may be caused by the reduced etching potential of the acidic monomers toward the base of hybrid layers, or the presence of acidic but non-polymerisable hydrolytic adhesive components, creating potential sites for the degradation of the bonded created by these self-etch adhesives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1035-1042
Number of pages8
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Incomplete resin infiltration
  • Interfibrillar spaces
  • Self-etch adhesives

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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