OBJECTIVES: One-bottle dentin adhesives combine primer and adhesive resin into a single solution. This study was conducted to determine the bond strengths to dentin of four one-bottle bonding systems and to evaluate their SEM interfacial morphology. The hypothesis to be tested was that the water-based bonding system would produce lower bond strengths and less complete penetration into dentin than other bonding systems that are dissolved in organic solvents. METHODS: Forty extracted molars were ground to expose middle dentin and were randomly assigned to four groups (n = 10): Group 1--Experimental Single Bond (3M Dental Products Division); Group 2--Prime&Bond 2.1, pre-launch version (Dentsply DeTrey); Group 3--Syntac Single-Component (Vivadent); Group 4--Tenure Quik with Fluoride (Den-Mat Co.) The surfaces were treated according to manufacturers' instructions. After 24 h in water, the specimens were thermocycled, and the bond strengths were measured in shear. The data were analyzed with ANOVA and Duncan's test at a confidence level of 95%. Further, the adhesives were also applied to 600 microns thick dentin disks. After preparing polished cross sections, the bonded interfaces were demineralized, deproteinized, and observed under a FE-SEM. The morphological appearance of the resin-dentin interface surfaces was compared by screening the entire resin-dentin interface for each specimen. RESULTS: Two morphological characteristics were evaluated: 1) the depth of resin penetration into the tubules and 2) the thickness and density of the resin-dentin interdiffusion zone. Single Bond showed statistically higher mean shear bond strengths (p < 0.001) compared to the other three materials. Specimens prepared with Syntac Single-Component and Prime&Bond 2.1 were ranked in the intermediary Duncan's grouping. Specimens bonded with Tenure Quik with Fluoride exhibited the lowest mean shear bond strength. All materials penetrated and hybridized dentin. Single Bond formed a thick layer of adhesive resin on the top of the interdiffusion area without debonding, whereas some areas of debonding were observed on the top of the hybrid layers for Prime&Bond 2.1 and Syntac Single-Component. For the water-based adhesive Syntac Single-Component, the interdiffusion zone displayed a thick filigree pattern, containing scattered open spaces between the resin-enveloped collagen fibers. Tenure Quik with Fluoride did not thoroughly infiltrate the demineralized dentin zone, resulting in wide gaps in all specimens. Prime&Bond 2.1 formed the shortest resin tags, whereas Syntac Single-Component formed the longest resin tags. SIGNIFICANCE: Bonding to dentin remains unpredictable using one-bottle bonding systems. The chemistry of each individual material may be more important than the type of solvent.