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    7 things you may not know about universal adhesives

    Two adhesive experts share their expertise and insight about universal adhesives.

    Since its inception in 1955 when Dr. Michael Buonocore first discovered that you could adhere to enamel using acid, adhesive dentistry has changed the way dentists treat patients. However, while Buonocore’s findings serve as the basis of adhesive dentistry, much of the science has changed. Moreover, advances have made adhesive dentistry more streamlined.

    Dr. Daniel Poticny, DDS, who practices in Grand Prairie, Texas, explains that cementum, dentin and enamel bond differently. Enamel bonds are durable while dentin bonds may start strong but can weaken with time. Cementum bonds, on the other hand, are notoriously poor because their structure doesn’t lend itself well to adhesion.

    The gold standard for adhesives resides with the “fourth-generation” products using three bottles (acid+primer+adhesive), regarded as difficult to use but that yield the best overall performance. Subsequent generations five through seven simplified things yet yielded mixed results.

    Related reading: How to achieve clinical confidence with universal adhesives

    A new category of adhesives now exist that transcends the generational approach. Dr. Poticny believes universal adhesives are in a class of their own, with efficacy that rivals the fourth-generation adhesives but without the complicated procedures. “Doctors would be well served to strongly consider the use of universal adhesives today,” Dr. Poticny says.

    Dr. John Burgess, DDS, MS, and dean of clinical research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, agrees that dentists should use universals. “When you get to second- and three-year recalls on a material and you're getting great results, this is very good material.”

    Universal adhesives can be used with the self-etch, selective-etch and total-etch bonding technique. The adhesive MDP monomer contained in most universal adhesives enables effective bonding to calcium, dentin, enamel, zirconia and metal alloys.

    But there are some important facts that many dentists might not know about universal adhesives. Our experts shared their expertise about these versatile and efficient materials, including these seven things you probably didn’t know about universal adhesives.

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