Bonding to tooth structure: clinical and biological considerations.

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Marginal leakage of tooth restorations is a problem well known to dental practitioners and researchers. The development of agents that provide strong and stable adhesive bonds to both dentine and enamel in the oral environment is a challenge to scientists. The critical area in resin restorations is at the gingival margin where the resin is in apposition to dentine and/or cementum. Therefore, investigations into dentine bonding have been undertaken over the past 20 years. The evaluation of bonding agents includes studies in vitro to investigate their ability to aid the control of microleakage. The biological safety of bonding agents is also very important. Pulpal response to these agents is useful in biological evaluation. Animal studies on the pulpal response of available bonding agents have been reported recently. Precise evaluation criteria have been employed on a limited basis. Long-term clinical studies are now necessary to evaluate the stability of the commercially available bonding agents that have been histologically and biologically evaluated.

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