Purpose: This study compared the microtensile bond strengths (μTBS) of two etch-and-rinse (ER) (OptiBond FL [OBFL]; Prime & Bond NT [PBNT]) and three self-etching (SE) (Clearfil SE Bond [CSEB]; Xeno III [XIII]; Xeno V+ [XV+]) adhesives systems to bur-prepared human enamel considering active (AA) and passive (PA) application of the self-etching systems.
Materials and Methods: Ninety-six enamel surfaces were prepared with a medium-grit diamond bur and randomly allocated into 8 groups to receive adhesive restorations: G1: OBFL; G2: PBNT; G3: CSEB/PA; G4: CSEB/ AA; G5: XIII/PA; G6: XIII/AA; G7: XV+/PA; G8: XV+/AA. After composite buildup, samples were sectioned to obtain a total of 279 bonded sticks (1 mm2) that were submitted to microtensile testing (μTBS; 0.5 mm/min) after 24-h water storage (37°C). Etching patterns and adhesive interfacial ultramorphology were also evaluated with confocal laser scanning (CLSM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Data was analyzed with one-way ANOVA (α = 0.05). Weibull probabilistic distribution was also determined.
Results: Regarding μTBS, both adhesive system and application mode yielded statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) among groups. ER adhesive systems together with CSEB/AA and XIII/PA recorded the highest and statistically similar bond strength results. XV+ presented very low bond strength values, regardless of the application mode. Among self-etching adhesives, CSEB produced significantly higher μTBS values when applied actively. Qualitative evaluation by SEM and CLSM revealed substantial differences between groups both in adhesive interfaces and enamel conditioning patterns.
Conclusions: ER and SE adhesive systems presented distinctive bond strengths to bur-cut enamel. The application mode effect was adhesive dependent. Active application improved etching patterns and resin interfaces micromorphology.
Keywords: adhesive systems, microtensile bond strength, application mode, enamel, morphology