Enamel-smear compromises bonding by mild self-etch adhesives

A. Mine, J. De Munck, M. Vivan Cardoso, K. L. Van Landuyt, A. Poitevin, T. Kuboki, Y. Yoshida, K. Suzuki, B. Van Meerbeek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


In light of the increased popularity of less acidic, so-called 'ultra-mild' self-etch adhesives, adhesion to enamel is becoming more critical. It is hypothesized that this compromised enamel bonding should, to a certain extent, be attributed to interference of bur debris smeared across enamel during cavity preparation. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy revealed that the enamel smear layer differed not only in thickness, but also in crystal density and size, depending on the surface-preparation method used. Lab-demineralization of sections clearly disclosed that resin-infiltration of an ultra-mild self-etch adhesive progressed preferentially along micro-cracks that were abundantly present at and underneath the bur-cut enamel surface. The surface-preparation method significantly affected the nature of the smear layer and the interaction with the ultra-mild adhesive, being more uniform and dense for a lab-SiC-prepared surface vs. a clinically relevant bur-prepared surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1505-1509
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • TEM
  • adhesion
  • enamel
  • hybrid layer
  • resin-smear complex
  • smear layer
  • ultra-mild self-etch adhesive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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