Purpose:This overview presents a description of organofunctional trialkoxysilane
coupling agents (silanes), their chemistry, properties, use, and some of the main
clinical experiences in dentistry. Materials and Methods:The main emphasis was on
major dental journals that have been reviewed from 1958 up to the latest research
news from 2002. A MEDLINE search with the key words “dental silanes” was used.
Special silane literature and journals outside dentistry were also cited. Results:The
main emphasis is on the use of silanes in prosthetic and restorative dentistry. Clinical
relevance was based mainly on either short- or long-term tests. The interpretation of
various results is not given, mainly because of controversial observations that may be
very difficult to explain. Nevertheless, the majority of the clinical results pointed to
silanes playing a significant role in the adhesion process. Silane reaction mechanisms
were not entirely understood, and there exist several theories for bonding mechanisms
for silanes and substrates. Conclusion:Dental materials offer a continuously
challenging forum for silanes, and silanes will play an essential role in material
development. Int J Prosthodont 2004;17:155–164.