Background and objective: Phosphoric acid etching is the gold standard for enamel conditioning. However, it is possible that air abrasion or a combination of air abrasion and etching might result in enhanced adhesion. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of different enamel conditioning methods on the bond strength of six adhesives.
Material and methods: Three different enamel conditioning procedures (phosphoric acid etching, air abrasion, air abrasion + phosphoric acid etching) were evaluated for their influence on the shear bond strength of six different adhesives (Transbond™ XT, Cool-Bond™, Fuji Ortho LC, Ultra Band-Lok, Tetric(®) Flow, Light-Bond™). Each group consisted of 15 specimens. Shear forces were measured with a universal testing machine. The scores of the Adhesive Remnant Index (ARI) were also analyzed.
Results: There were no significant differences between phosphoric acid etching and air abrasion + phosphoric acid etching. Air abrasion as a single conditioning technique led to significantly lower shear forces. The ARI scores did not correlate with the shear strengths measured. There were greater variations in shear forces for the different adhesives than for the conditioning techniques.
Conclusion: The highest shear forces were found for the conventional composites Transbond™ XT and Cool- Bond™ in combination with conventional etching. Air abrasion alone and in combination with phosphoric acid etching showed no advantages compared with phosphoric acid etching alone and, therefore, cannot be recommended.