This literature-based OPINION PAPER reflects in an introductory historical perspective on the rapid advancement of dental adhesive technology. Past and current techniques to bond to tooth tissue, in particular to dentin as the most challenging bonding substrate, are critically appraised. Including the historical perspective in (1), this paper focuses on fourteen items thought to be of primary importance with regard to the current status of dental adhesive technology. In (2) the primary mechanisms involved in adhesion to enamel and especially dentin are dealt with having (3) also revisited the previously introduced adhesion-decalcification concept (AD concept) as basis of biomaterial-hard tissue interaction; the worldwide accepted classification of today's adhesives into etch&rinse (E&R) and self-etch (SE) adhesives are presented in (4), along with presentation of their respective PLUS-MINUS balances in (5) and (6); nomination of the GOLD-STANDARD E&R (7) and SE (8) adhesives is based on evidence of successful laboratory and long-term clinical performance, resulting in a recommended 3-step full E&R bonding route in (9) and the preferred 3-step combined selective enamel E&R with 2-SE bonding route in (10); (11) description of the main bond-degradation pathways and eight strategies to preserve bond stability; (12) coverage of the PROS and CONS of the newest generation of UNIVERSAL adhesives. Looking into the future, some expected future developments in dental adhesive technology have been suggested in (13), along with (14) a first status determination of the latest research-and-development towards self-adhesive restorative materials that no longer require any pre-treatment.
Keywords: review, bonding, dentin, adhesion, self-adhesive