Osmotic blistering in enamel bonded with one-step self-etch adhesives

F. R. Tay, C. N.S. Lai, S. Chersoni, D. H. Pashley, Y. F. Mak, P. Suppa, C. Prati, N. M. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


One-step self-etch adhesives behave as permeable membranes after polymerization, permitting water to move through the cured adhesives. We hypothesize that osmotic blistering occurs in bonded enamel when these adhesives are used without composite coupling. Tooth surfaces from extracted human premolars were bonded with 5 one-step self-etch adhesives. They were immersed in distilled water or 4.8 M CaCl2, and examined by stereomicroscopy, field-emission/environmental SEM, and TEM. Water blisters were observed in bonded enamel but not in bonded dentin when specimens were immersed in water. They collapsed when water was subsequently replaced with CaCl2. Blisters were absent from enamel in specimens that were immersed in CaCl 2 only. Water trees were identified from adhesive-enamel interfaces. Osmotic blistering in enamel is probably caused by the low water permeability of enamel. This creates an osmotic gradient between the bonded enamel and the external environment, causing water sorption into the interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-295
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Enamel
  • Osmosis
  • Self-etch
  • Water blisters
  • Water trees

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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