The journal of adhesive dentistry vol:1 issue:1 pages:7-23
PURPOSE: The objectives of this study were (1) to compare the hybridization effectiveness of two adhesive systems that are applied in respectively three and two steps, and (2) to determine the best resin-dentin interface preparation technique for atomic force microscopy (AFM). MATERIALS AND METHODS: The resin-dentin interface produced by the three-step OptiBond Dual-Cure (Kerr) and its simplified two-step successor OptiBond Solo (Kerr) was ultramorphologically examined using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and AFM. Four different methods were used to prepare interface specimens for AFM: (1) polishing to a 0.1-micron finish with a silicon oxide suspension, (2) polishing to a 0.05-micron finish with an aluminum oxide suspension, (3) argon-ion etching, and (4) sectioning with a diamond knife. RESULTS: Both TEM and AFM demonstrated that some collapse of the exposed collagen fibril network, due to gentle postconditioning air-drying of the dentin surface, may not have been totally recovered through hybridization by the two-step adhesive formulation as opposed to the three-step precursor. From the four interface preparation methods, only diamond-knife sectioning revealed sufficient ultramorphologic detail and high resolution that can capitalize on the high resolution offered by AFM. CONCLUSION: First, the findings suggest that simplifying the application procedure of adhesives by combining the primer and adhesive resin into a single application step may reduce hybridization effectiveness. Future research should confirm this effect for other two- versus three-step adhesive systems. Second, diamond-knife sectioning should be used for future topographic imaging and physicomechanical testing of resin-dentin interfaces by AFM.