This study evaluated microleakage in vitro of self-etch and multi-step, total-etch adhesive systems. Ninety-six extracted non-carious human molars were randomly assigned to eight groups (n=12) and restored with different adhesive systems: Optibond Solo Plus, iBond, Adper Prompt L-Pop, Xeno III, Simplicity, Nano-Bond, Adper Scotchbond Multi-Purpose and Touch & Bond. Each group was treated following the manufacturer's instructions. Class V cavities were prepared on the facial or lingual surfaces of each tooth with coronal margins in enamel and apical margins in cementum (dentin). The teeth were restored with Z-100 resin composite. After polishing with Sof-Lex disks, the teeth were thermocycled for 1000 cycles and coated with nail varnish to within 1.0 mm of the restoration. The teeth were stained in 1% methylene blue dye for 24 hours and sectioned from the facial to lingual surface. Dye penetration (microleakage) was examined with a 20x binocular microscope. Enamel and dentin margin leakage was scored on a 0 to 3 ordinal scale. Data were analyzed using Kruskal-Wallis Analysis of Variance and Mann-Whitney U tests. Comparison of the adhesive groups at the enamel margin revealed: 1) Adper Scotchbond Multi-purpose exhibited significantly less leakage than the other adhesive groups (except iBond); 2) among the self-etch adhesive groups, iBond exhibited significantly less leakage than Nano-Bond and 3) the other adhesive groups clustered intermediately. In contrast, there were no significant differences among the adhesive groups when the dentin margin was evaluated. A Wilcoxin signed rank test showed significantly less leakage at the enamel margins compared to the dentin margins of the eight adhesive systems tested. All data were submitted to statistical analysis at p<0.05 level of significance.
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