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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 147-150
Comparative evaluation of the enamel bond strength of 'etch-and-rinse' and 'all-in-one' bonding agents on cut and uncut enamel surfaces

1 Department of Conservative Dentistry, K. M. Shah Dental College and Hospital, Piparia-Vadodara, India
2 Department of Conservative Dentistry, Vyas Dental College and Hospital, Jodhpur, India
3 Department of Conservative Dentistry, P. M. N. M. Dental College and Hospital, Bagalkot, India

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Date of Submission24-Sep-2010
Date of Decision20-Nov-2010
Date of Acceptance11-Dec-2010
Date of Web Publication7-Jul-2011


Aims and Objectives : To compare tensile bond strength of an 'etch-and-rinse' bonding agent (Single bond,3M ESPE, MN, USA) with an 'all-in-one' bonding agent (iBond, Heraeus Kulzer, NY, USA) on cut and uncut enamel surfaces. The null hypothesis tested is that the 'all-in-one' bonding agent matches the 'etch-and-rinse' bonding agent in terms of tensile bond strength to enamel.
Materials and Methods : Forty extracted human mandibular teeth were used for the study. Twenty teeth with intact enamel surfaces were divided into two groups of 10 teeth each. The enamel surfaces of the 20 teeth were prepared and assigned to two more groups of 10 teeth each. One group each of intact and prepared enamel surfaces were used to bond with the 'etch-and-rinse' bonding agent [Single bond (SB), 3M ESPE, MN, USA] and the other two groups one each of intact and prepared enamel surfaces were used to bond with the 'all-in-one' bonding agent [ iBond (IB), Heraeus Kulzer, NY, USA]. The tensile bond strength was measured on the universal testing machine (Unitek, 9450 PC, FIE, INDIA) at a cross head speed of 1 mm / minute.
Results : The results were statistically analyzed using a one-way ANOVA and student 't' test. The values for the 'etch-and-rinse' bonding agent SB were significantly higher for both the cut and uncut surfaces, compared to the 'all-in-one' bonding agent IB (P < 0.05). The all-in-one bonding agent resulted in a higher bond strength on the cut enamel surfaces.
Conclusions : Based on the results, it is advisable to use the 'etch-and-rinse system' in a clinical situation requiring bonding on enamel alone.

Keywords: Cut and uncut enamel surfaces; enamel bond strength; iBond; single bond; tensile bond strength

How to cite this article:
Patil D, Singbal KP, Kamat S. Comparative evaluation of the enamel bond strength of 'etch-and-rinse' and 'all-in-one' bonding agents on cut and uncut enamel surfaces. J Conserv Dent 2011;14:147-50

How to cite this URL:
Patil D, Singbal KP, Kamat S. Comparative evaluation of the enamel bond strength of 'etch-and-rinse' and 'all-in-one' bonding agents on cut and uncut enamel surfaces. J Conserv Dent [serial online] 2011 [cited 2022 May 28];14:147-50. Available from:

   Introduction Top

The principles of adhesive dentistry date back to 1955, when Buonocore, using techniques of industrial bonding, postulated that acids could be used as a surface treatment, before application of the resins. [1] The fundamental principle of adhesion or bonding to the tooth substrate is an exchange process where inorganic tooth material is exchanged for a synthetic resin. [2] Enamel bonding is one of the most significant advancements in dentistry in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and it is the main reason for the clinical success of several restorative procedures. They include the bonding of ceramic veneers to the etched enamel, the use of resin-based composites to close diastemas, the placement of sealants, the extension of class V restorations on to the beveled enamel surfaces, and the placement of orthodontic brackets. [3] The bonding procedure involves the application of a bonding agent prior to the application of a resin composite. Bonding systems are available with different application protocols. Essentially, two approaches are followed at present, an 'etch-and- rinse' approach in which a separate etching step is carried out, with 37% phosphoric acid, followed by rinsing with water, prior to the application of a primer / adhesive, and a 'self-etch' approach in which there is no separate etching step, rather the bonding is achieved by the application of a single solution. The self-etch solutions contain an acidic monomer, which simultaneously etch, infiltrate, and polymerize. The 'all-in-one' self-etch adhesives offer an easy-to-use approach for the clinician, as they encompass all the steps into 'one' and are less technique-sensitive. The first evaluation of these new systems has shown a sufficient bond to conditioned dentin, while the bond with the enamel is less effective. As the bonding procedures not only involve bonding to dentin all the time, and the margins may extend to the prepared or intact enamel, their effectiveness in terms of bond strength to enamel has to be ascertained. A compromise of enamel bond strength results in microleakage and subsequent failure of the restoration over a period of time. In the light of these developments, this study is undertaken to ascertain the efficacy of the simplified 'all-in-one' bonding system (i-Bond, Heraeus Kulzer,NY,USA) when compared to the 'etch-and-rinse' bonding system (Single Bond,3M ESPE, St. Paul, MN,USA), on cut and uncut enamel surfaces. The new parameter tested in this study is the tensile bond strength of the 'self-etch adhesive' on prepared and intact enamel surfaces when compared to the tried and tested 'etch-and-rinse' adhesive.

   Materials and Methods Top

Forty freshly extracted mandibular molars with unattrited, intact crowns, free from decay and fractures, were collected. The teeth were scaled with an ultrasonic scaler to remove tissue tags, plaque, and calculus, and they were polished with pumice and stored in physiological saline till further use. They were randomly divided into four groups of 10 teeth each.

Group I - Uncut teeth (n = 10): Application of SB

Group II - Teeth with cut superficial enamel surfaces (n = 10): Application of SB

Group III - Uncut teeth (n = 10): Application of IB

Group IV - Teeth with cut superficial enamel surfaces (n = 10): Application of IB

For Group I and Group III the samples are prepared in the following manner:

The teeth are polished with pumice and thoroughly cleaned with toothpaste and water. The buccal surfaces of the teeth are etched with phosphoric acid (Scotchbond, 3M ESPE, St. Paul, MN, USA) following the manufacturer's instructions. Metal dies with internal diameters of 3 mm on one side and 8 mm on the other side, prepared especially for this study, are used. The side with the 3 mm diameter is placed on the buccal surface of the tooth and held in place with the help of sticky wax. The corresponding bonding agent(Single Bond / iBond) is applied on the tooth from within the die and cured following the manufacturer's instructions. The composite material (Filtek Z 250, 3M ESPE, MN, USA) is condensed into the die and cured for 20 seconds following the manufacturer's instructions.

For Group II and Group IV, 0.5 mm of enamel on the buccal surfaces of the teeth was reduced, using diamond disks, taking care not to expose the dentin. The same restorative procedure with the corresponding bonding agent for the particular group, as mentioned earlier, was followed.

The teeth were placed in the incubator at 37 o C for 24 hours. The teeth were thermocycled in distilled water 100 times, between 5 o C and 55 o C, with 30 seconds dwell time and 5 seconds transfer time for each. The teeth were sectioned using diamond disks at the cementoenamel junction, to facilitate holding them in the jaws of the Universal Testing Machine.

The tensile bond strength tests were measured using the Universal Testing Machine (Unitek, 9450 PC, FIE, INDIA), at a cross head speed of 1 mm / minute.

The force required to separate the composite material from the tooth surface was registered in newtons, and converted into megapascals as a ratio of newtons to surface area of the bonded surface (MPa = N/m 2 ). The obtained results were statistically analyzed.

   Results Top

The quantitative data were presented as Mean, Standard deviation, Standard error, and range values. One way ANOVA was used for multiple group comparisons followed by an unpaired t-test, for pairwise comparisons.

The mean bond strength values and standard deviations of Group I to Group IV are shown in [Table 1]. The bond strength values were obtained in Kilo Newtons and converted to Megapascals.
Table 1: Descriptive measurements of enamel bond strengths of different groups

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The results of the comparison of enamel bond strengths between Group I and Group III are shown in [Table 2].
Table 2: Comparison of enamel bond strengths of group I and III

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The mean bond strength values for Group I were 4.94 ± 0.83 MPa and for Group III were 3.62 ± 1.56 MPa. The P value for comparison between Group I and Group III was 0.03, which was less than 0.05, indicating the statistically significant difference between the groups. This indicated that the Single Bond (SB) was more efficient on uncut enamel surfaces compared to the iBond (IB).

The results of comparison of the enamel bond strengths between Group II and Group IV are shown in [Table 3].
Table 3: Comparison of enamel bond strengths of group II and IV

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The mean bond strength values of Group II were 25.44 ± 5.25 MPa and for Group IV were 8.51 ± 2.45 Mpa. The P value for comparison between Group II and Group IV was 0.001, which was less than 0.05, indicating a statistically significant difference between the groups.

This indicated that the Single Bond (SB) was more efficient on cut enamel surfaces compared to the iBond (IB). However, the tensile bond strength values for IB on cut enamel surfaces were higher when compared with those on uncut enamel surfaces.

   Discussion Top

The present study compared the 'iBond' (seventh generation) self-etching adhesive characterized by the single bottle system with the 'Single Bond' (fifth generation) 'etch-and-rinse' adhesive. [4]

The parameter chosen was tensile bond strength using the universal testing machine on cut and uncut enamel surfaces.

The iBond was chosen because it was claimed by the manufacturer to be a unique, all-in-one bottle system, incorporating etching, priming, and bonding in a single step, and hence, user friendly and saving time. It was thought necessary to supplement the data as regards its bond strength when compared to the more established 'etch-and-rinse' approach of the fifth generation bonding agent, which had been successfully used over a significant period of time and was considered to be the benchmark against which newer systems should be compared.

Considering the multiplicity of uses elaborated by the manufacturer and the fact that not all the margins of the restorations were usually beveled, it was of utmost importance to determine the ability of the new self-etch adhesive material's ability to bond to cut and uncut enamel. [5] Thus, the study included groups involving cut and uncut enamel surfaces.

The rationale behind the bond strength testing was, the higher the actual bonding capacity of an adhesive, the better it would withstand stress and the longer the restoration would survive in vivo. Bond strength testing was relatively easy and fast, and besides, it did not require special equipment. [6]

In the present study, as regards intact enamel surfaces, iBond which is a self-etch adhesive, has resulted in lower bond strength values (3.62 ± 1.56 MPa) as compared to the Single Bond (4.94 ± 0.83 MPa) and there has been a significant difference between bond strength values (P < 0.05); which is in agreement with other studies that reported self-etching adhesives as being less effective on intact enamel surfaces than the 'etch-and-rinse' adhesive. [5],[7],[8],[9]

The penetration and diffusion of the bonding agent into the demineralized enamel surface was very important for enamel adhesion. [10] The bond strength of the phosphoric acid-etched enamel was mainly attributable to the resin's ability to penetrate between the enamel crystallites and rods. [11] This ultrastructure might have contributed to the high bond strength values obtained with the Single Bond.

The lower adhesion strength of the iBond to intact enamel surfaces might be a result of the less pronounced enamel etching pattern obtained with the self-etch adhesive, because of the relatively inadequate pH of the primer. Intact enamel was less accessible to self-etch adhesives, because it was hypermineralized and could contain more flouride than instrumented enamel. Additionally, changes occurred in the outermost enamel layer after eruption, and a prismless enamel layer could be present, preventing further penetration of the self-etching adhesives. [12]

On cut enamel surfaces, the application of the Single-Bond resulted in bond strength values of 25.44 ± 5.23 MPa and the application of iBond resulted in 8.51 ± 2.45 MPa. There was a highly significant difference between the groups (P < 0.01).

The results of this study are in contrast to the other studies, [12] which report resin tag penetration into the roughened enamel treated with self-etch adhesives, which has been deemed comparable to phosphoric acid-etched enamel. However, some studies have reported that the etching pattern of self-etch adhesives is not as well-defined as that of the total-etch adhesives on roughened enamel surfaces, but result in similar bond strength values. [13],[14]

The reason for the low bond strength might be related to the difference in the pH of phosphoric acid (Scotch Bond etching gel) used with the Single Bond (0.6) [15] and the pH of the acidic primer in the iBond (1.6); [6] and the absence of a well-defined etching pattern might correspond to the low-bond strength values.

Both the iBond and Single Bond resulted in higher bond strength values on the ground enamel suggesting that some kind of enamel preparation might facilitate better adhesion.

Single Bond is ethanol- / water-based and iBond is acetone- / water-based.

Acetone has a relatively higher vapor pressure (184 mm Hg at 20 o C) when compared with ethanol (43.9) and water (17.5) and results in easier solvent evaporation. [16]

It was noted during a study that the acetone-depleted solution presented a notably higher viscosity. [17] Thus, it was plausible that the viscosity of the adhesive system increased as the solvent concentration decreased, and in turn it might affect the ability of the resin monomer to infiltrate the substrate. High frequency of use, associated with higher temperatures, might accelerate the process of solvent evaporation. Furthermore, self-etching primers incorporated a significant amount of water, as a solvent, to promote the ionization of acidic monomers. After solvent evaporation, the adhesive layer could be very thin, and therefore, the mechanical properties might be low. [18],[19] Another possible explanation for the low bond strength obtained using acetone-based adhesives was the high percentage of acetone (approximately 70%), which might not permit the formation of a uniform film on the bonding surface. [20] This might have possibly contributed to the lower bond strength values obtained with the iBond.

A static bond-strength test is often regarded as clinically less relevant, as such abrupt loading of the adhesive-tooth bond clinically never occurs. Therefore, dynamic fatigue testing is often claimed to better predict the clinical effectiveness of adhesives. [21]

Fracture toughness (KIc) or the strain energy release rates (GIc) are tests that are considered more meaningful to measure the energy or work to separate the adhesive resin from its bond to dentin. [22]

   Conclusions Top

Within the limitations of this in vitro study the following conclusions are drawn:

  • The tensile bond strength of the Single Bond is significantly higher compared to that of the iBond, on both cut and uncut enamel surfaces.
  • It is advisable to follow the established practice of using the etch-and-rinse approach when bonding on enamel alone.

Further studies are required to evaluate the efficiency of the iBond and other 'all-in-one' bonding agents in different testing conditions, such as the Microtensile bond strength test, Dynamic fatigue testing, and the Weibull distribution function.

   Acknowledgment Top

The authors would like to thank Dr. Beena Rani Goel, Former Professor and H.O.D., Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, P.M.N.M. Dental College, Bagalkot, for her active support during the initial stages of the study.

   References Top

1.Buonocore MG. A simple method of increasing the adhesion of acrylic filling materials to enamel surfaces. J Dent Res 1955;34:849-53.   Back to cited text no. 1
2.Van Meerbeek B, Vargas S, Inoue S, Yoshida Y, Peumans M, Lambrechts P, et al. Adhesives and cements to promote preservation dentistry. Oper Dent 2001a;6:119-44.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Christensen GC. Bonding to dentin and enamel where does it stand in 2005? J Am Dent Assoc 2005;136:1299-02.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Kugel G, Ferrari M. The science of bonding: From first to sixth generation. J Am Dent Assoc 2000;131:20-5.   Back to cited text no. 4
5.Perdigao J, Geraldeli S. Bonding characteristics of self-etching adhesives to intact versus prepared enamel. J Esthet Restor Dent 2003;15:32-42.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Van Meerbeek B, Munck JD, Yoshida Y, Inoue S, Vargas M, Vijay P, et al. Adhesion to enamel and dentin current status and future challenges. Oper Dent 2003;28:215-35.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Kanemura N, Sano H, Tagami J. Tensile bond strength to and SEM evaluation of ground and intact enamel surfaces. J Dent 1999;27:523-30.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Kerby RE, Knobloch LA. Microtensile bond strength of one-step and self-etching adhesive systems. Oper Dent 2005;30:195-200.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Pashley DH, Tay FR. Aggressiveness of contemporary self-etching adhesives Part II. Effects on unground enamel. Dent Mater 2001;17:430- 40.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Brannstrom M, Nordenvall KJ. The effect of acid etching on enamel, dentin, and the inner surface of the resin restoration: A scanning electron microscope investigation. J Dent Res 1977;56:917-23.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Shinchi MJ, Soma K, Nakabayashi N. The effect of phosphoric acid concentration on resin tag length and bond strength of a photocured resin to acid etched enamel. Dent Mater 2000;16:324-9.  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Perdigao J, Gomes G, Duarte Jr S, Lopes MM. Enamel bond strengths of pairs of adhesives from the same manufacturer. Oper Dent 2005;30:492- 9.  Back to cited text no. 12
13.Perdigao J, Lopes MM, Lambrechts P, Leitao J, Van Meerbeek B, Vanharle G. Effects of a self-etching primer on enamel shear bond strengths and SEM morphology. Am J Dent 1997;10:141-6.   Back to cited text no. 13
14. Shimada Y, Senawongse P, Harnirattisai MF, Nakaoki BY, Tagami J. Bond strength of two adhesive systems to primary and permanent enamel. Oper Dent 2002;27:403-9.  Back to cited text no. 14
15.Lopes GC, Marson FC, Vieira L, De Andreda M, Baratieri LN. Composite bond strength to enamel with self-etching primers. Oper Dent 2004;29:424-9.  Back to cited text no. 15
16.Gallo TR, Burgess JO, Xu X. Effect of delayed application on shear bond strength of four fifth generation bonding systems. Oper Dent 2001;26:48-51.  Back to cited text no. 16
17.Reis AF, Oliveira MT, Giannini M, De Goes MF, Rueggerberg FA. The effect of organic solvents on one-bottle bond strength to enamel and dentin. Oper Dent 2003;28:700-6.  Back to cited text no. 17
18.Aguilar-Mendoza JA, Rosales-Leal JI, Rodriguez-Valverde MA, Gonzalez-Lopez S, Cabreizovilchez MA. Wettability and bonding of self-etching dental adhesives: Influence of the smear layer. Dent Mater 2008;24:994- 1000.  Back to cited text no. 18
19.Mandava D, Ajitha P, Narayanan LL. Comparative evaluation of tensile bond strengths of total-etch adhesives and self-etch adhesives with single and multiple applications: An in vitro study. J Conserv Dent[serial online] 2009;12:55-9.  Back to cited text no. 19
20.Lopes GC, Cardoso PC, Vieira LC, Baratieri LN, Rampinelli K, Costa G. Shear Bond strength of acentone based one bottle adhesive systems. Braz Dent J 2006;17:1-7.  Back to cited text no. 20
21.Poitevin A, De Munck J, Cardoso MV, Mine A, Peumans M, Lambrechts P, et al. Dynamic versus static bond-strength testing of adhesive interfaces. Dent Mater 2010;26:1068-76.  Back to cited text no. 21
22.Scherrer SS, Cesar PF, Swain MO. Direct comparison of the bond strength results of the different test methods. A critical literature review. Dent Mater 2010;26:e78-93.  Back to cited text no. 22

Correspondence Address:
Deepu Patil
Department of Conservative Dentistry, K. M. Shah Dental College and Hospital, Piparia - 391 760, Vadodara, Gujarat
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Source of Support: Mcods - Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-0707.82616

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  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]

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