The current trend toward minimal-invasive dentistry has introduced innovative techniques for cavity preparation. Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and laser-irradiation technology have been employed as an alternative to the common use of regular burs in high-speed turbines. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of alternative techniques for cavity preparation on the bonding effectiveness of different adhesives to dentin, and to evaluate the morphological characteristics of dentin prepared with those techniques. METHODS: One etch&rinse adhesive (OptiBond FL, Kerr) and three self-etch systems (Adper Prompt L-Pop, 3M ESPE; Clearfil SE Bond, Kuraray; Clearfil S3 Bond, Kuraray) were applied on dentin prepared with a regular bur in a turbine, with a CVD bur in a turbine, with a CVD tip in ultrasound and with an Er,Cr:YSGG laser. The micro-tensile bond strength (muTBS) was determined after storage in water for 24h at 37 degrees C, and morphological evaluation was performed by means of field-emission-gun scanning electron microscopy (Feg-SEM). RESULTS: Feg-SEM evaluation revealed different morphological features on the dentin surface after the usage of both the conventional and alternative techniques for cavity preparation, more specifically regarding smear-layer thickness and surface roughness. CVD bur-cut, CVD ultra-sonoabraded and laser-irradiated dentin resulted in lower muTBSs than conventionally bur-cut dentin, irrespective of the adhesive employed. SIGNIFICANCE: The techniques, such as CVD diamond-bur cutting, CVD diamond ultra-sonoabrasion and laser-irradiation, used for cavity preparation may affect the bonding effectiveness of adhesives to dentin, irrespective of their acidity or approach.