Objectives: The objectives of this paper are to review the structure of dentine as it pertains to adhesive bonding and to describe the importance of resin permeation into dentinal tubules and into spaces created between collagen fibrils by acid-etching during resin bonding. The advantages and disadvantages of separate acid-etching, priming and adhesive applications are discussed.
Data sources: Although not an exhaustive review, the concepts included in the review were obtained from the dentine bonding literature.
Study selection: Attempts were made to critically evaluate what is known about dentine permeability and adhesion and what remains to be discovered. Speculations were made on a number of controversial issues that are not yet resolved.
Conclusions: Acid-etching of dentine produces profound changes in the chemical composition and physical properties of the matrix which can influence the quality of resin-dentine bonds, their strength and perhaps their durability.