Aggressiveness of contemporary self-etching adhesives Part II: Etching effects on unground enamel

David H. Pashley, Franklin R. Tay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Objectives: The aggressiveness of three self-etching adhesives on unground enamel was investigated. Ultrastructural features and microtensile bond strength were examined, first using these adhesives as both the etching and resin-infiltration components, and then examining their etching efficacy alone through substitution of the proprietary resins with the same control resins. Methods: For SEM examination, buccal, mid-coronal, unground enamel from human extracted bicuspids were etched with either Clearfil Mega Bond (Kuraray), Non-Rinse Conditioner (NRC; Dentsply DeTrey) or Prompt L-Pop (ESPE). Those in the control group were etched with 32% phosphoric acid (Bisco) for 15 s. They were all rinsed off prior to examination of the etching efficacy. For TEM examination, the self-etching adhesives were used as recommended. Unground enamel treated with NRC were further bonded using Prime&Bond NT (Dentsply), while those in the etched, control group were bonded using All-Bond 2 (Bisco). Completely demineralized, resin replicas were embedded in epoxy resin for examination of the extent of resin infiltration. For microtensile bond strength evaluation, specimens were first etched and bonded using the self-etching adhesives. A second group of specimens were etched with the self-etching adhesives, rinsed but bonded using a control adhesive. Following restoration with Z100 (3M Dental Products), they were sectioned into beams of uniform cross-sectional areas and stressed to failure. Results: Etching patterns of aprismatic enamel, as revealed by SEM, and the subsurface hybrid layer morphology, as revealed by TEM, varied according to the aggressiveness of the self-etching adhesives. Clearfil Mega Bond exhibited the mildest etching patterns, while Prompt L-Pop produced an etching effect that approached that of the total-etch control group. Microtensile bond strength of the three experimental groups were all significantly lower than the control group, but not different from one another. When the self-etching adhesives were replaced with the control adhesive after etching, bond strengths of NRC/Prime&Bond NT and Prompt L-Pop were not significantly different from that of the control group, but were significantly higher than that of Clearfil Mega Bond. Significance: Both etching efficacy and strength of the resins are important contributing factors in bonding of self-etching adhesives to unground enamel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)430-444
Number of pages15
JournalDental Materials
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Microtensile bond strength
  • Self-etching adhesives
  • Ultrastructure
  • Unground enamel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Dentistry(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials


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