Purpose: In light of the concept of minimally invasive dentistry, erbium lasers have been considered as an alternative technique to the use of diamond burs for cavity preparation. The purpose of this study was to assess the bonding effectiveness of adhesives to Er,Cr:YSGG laser-irradiated dentin using irradiation settings specific for cavity preparation. Materials and Methods: Fifty-four midcoronal dentin surfaces, obtained from sound human molars, were irradiated with an Er,Cr:YSGG laser or prepared with a diamond bur using a high-speed turbine. One etch-and-rinse (Optibond FL/Kerr) and three self-etching adhesives (Adper Prompt L-Pop/3M ESPE, Clearfil SE Bond/Kuraray, and Clearfil S3 Bond/Kuraray) were used to bond the composite to dentin. The microtensile bond strength (μTBS) was determined after 24 h of storage in water at 37°C. The Kruskal-Wallis test was used to determine pairwise statistical differences (p < 0.05). Prepared dentin surfaces, adhesive interfaces, and failure patterns were analyzed using a stereomicroscope and Field-emission gun Scanning Electron Microscopy (Feg-SEM). Results: Significantly lower μTBS was observed to laser-irradiated than to bur-cut dentin (p < 0.05), irrespective of the adhesive employed. Feg-SEM photomicrographs of lased dentin revealed an imbricate patterned substrate and the presence of microcracks at the dentin surface. Conclusion: Morphological alterations produced by Er,Cr:YSGG laser-irradiation adversely influence the bonding effectiveness of adhesives to dentin.
Keywords: dentin, adhesion, adhesives, laser, Er,Cr:YSGG