Dentin-smear remains at self-etch adhesive interface

Atsushi Mine, Jan De Munck, Marcio Vivan Cardoso, Kirsten L. Van Landuyt, André Poitevin, Annelies Van Ende, Mariko Matsumoto, Yasuhiro Yoshida, Takuo Kuboki, Hirofumi Yatani, Bart Van Meerbeek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. The bonding potential of 'mild' self-etch adhesives may be compromised due to smear interference, as they may not dissolve/penetrate the smear layer effectively due to their relatively low acidity. We observed that the thickness of the dentin smear layer differed depending on the surface-preparation methodology used. Methods. The interaction of an (ultra-)mild self-etch adhesive (Clearfil S3 Bond, Kuraray Noritake) with human dentin, prepared either using a medium-grit diamond bur ('thick', clinically relevant smear layer) or 600-grit SiC-paper ('thin' smear layer), or just fractured (smear-free), was evaluated using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Non-demineralized/demineralized 30-100 nm interfacial cross-sections were prepared following common TEM-specimen processing and diamond-knife ultra-microtomy. Results. The adhesive did not dissolve the bur-cut, nor the SiC-ground smear layer, but impregnated it. Within this 'resin-smear complex', hydroxyapatite was abundantly present. At fractured dentin, this complex was not present, while the actual layer of interaction of the adhesive was limited to about 100 nm. Non-demineralized 'ultra-thin' (30-50 nm) sections confirmed the interfacial ultra-structure to differ for the three surface-preparation methods. An electron dense band was consistently disclosed at the adhesive interface, most likely representing the documented chemical interaction of the functional monomer 10-MDP with Ca. Significance. The dentin surface-preparation method significantly affects the nature of thesmear layer and the interaction with the ultra-mild self-etch adhesive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1147-1153
Number of pages7
JournalDental Materials
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Adhesion
  • Hybrid layer
  • Mild self-etch
  • Resin-smear complex
  • Smear layer
  • TEM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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