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Open Access

Scanning electron microscopy evaluation of the effect of etching agents on human enamel surface

  • Caio G. Zanet1
  • Victor E. Arana-Chavez2,*,
  • Marcelo Fava3

1,Post Graduate student

2Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo

3Department of Preventive and Social Dentistry, School of Dentistry of São José dos Campos, UNESP

DOI: 10.17796/jcpd.30.3.x5q47j208g064366 Vol.30,Issue 3,May 2006 pp.247-250

Published: 01 May 2006

*Corresponding Author(s): Victor E. Arana-Chavez E-mail:


Acid etching promotes microporosities on enamel surface, which provide a better bonding surface to adhesive materials. The purpose of this study was to comparatively analyze the microstructure of enamel surface after etching with 37% phosphoric acid or with two self-etching primers, Non-rinse conditioner (NRC) and Clearfil SE Bond (CSEB) using scanning electron microscopy. Thirty sound premolars were divided into 3 groups with ten teeth each: Group 1: the buccal surface was etched with 37% phosphoric acid for 15 seconds; Group 2: the buccal surface was etched with NRC for 20 sec-onds; Group 3: the buccal surface was etched with CSEB for 20 seconds. Teeth from Group 1 were rinsed with water; teeth from all groups were air-dried for 15 seconds. After that, all specimens were processed for scanning electron microscopy and analyzed in a Jeol 6100 SEM. The results showed deeper etching when the enamel surface was etched with 37% phosphoric acid, followed by NRC and CSEB. It is concluded that 37% phosphoric acid is still the best agent for a most effective enamel etch-ing.

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Caio G. Zanet,Victor E. Arana-Chavez,Marcelo Fava. Scanning electron microscopy evaluation of the effect of etching agents on human enamel surface. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. 2006. 30(3);247-250.


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