Objectives This study examined the effect of a dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) wet bonding technique on the resin infiltration depths at the bonded interface and dentin bond strength of different adhesive systems. Methods Flat dentin surfaces of 48 human third molars were treated with 50% DMSO (experimental groups) or with distilled water (controls) before bonding using an etch-and-rinse (SBMP: Scotchbond Multi-Purpose, 3M ESPE) or a self-etch (Clearfil: Clearfil SE Bond, Kuraray) adhesive system. The restored crown segments (n = 12/group) were stored in distilled water (24 h) and sectioned for interfacial analysis of exposed collagen using Masson's Trichrome staining and for microtensile bond strength testing. The extent of exposed collagen was measured using light microscopy and a histometric analysis software. Failure modes were examined by SEM. Data was analyzed by two-way ANOVA followed by Tukey Test (α = 0.05). Results The interaction of bonding protocol and adhesive system had significant effects on the extension of exposed collagen matrix (p < 0.0001) and bond strength (p = 0.0091). DMSO-wet bonding significantly reduced the extent of exposed collagen matrix for SBMP and Clearfil (p < 0.05). Significant increase in dentin bond strength was observed on DMSO-treated specimens bonded with SBMP (p < 0.05), while no differences were observed for Clearfil (p > 0.05). Significance DMSO-wet bonding was effective to improve the quality of resin-dentin bonds of the tested etch-and-rinse adhesives by reducing the extent of exposed collagen matrix at the base of the resin-dentin biopolymer. The improved penetration of adhesive monomers is reflected as an increase in the immediate bond strength when the DMSO-wet bonding technique is used with a water-based etch-and-rinse adhesive.
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