This study evaluated and compared the effect of saliva contamination and possible decontamination methods on bond strengths of two self-etching adhesive systems (Clearfil SE Bond [CSE], Optibond Solo Plus SE [OSE]). Flat occlusal dentin surfaces were created on 180 extracted human molar teeth. The two bonding systems and corresponding composite resins (Clearfil AP-X, Kerr Point 4) were bonded to the dentin under six surface conditions (n=15/group): group 1 (control): primer/bonding/composite; group 2: saliva/drying/primer/bonding/ composite; group 3: primer/saliva/rinsing/drying/primer/bonding/composite; group 4: primer/saliva/rinsing/drying/bonding/composite; group 5: primer/bonding (cured)/saliva/rinsing/drying/primer/bonding/composite; group 6: primer/bonding (cured)/saliva/removing contaminated layer with a bur/rinsing/drying/primer/ bonding/composite. Shear bond strength was tested after specimens were stored in distilled water at 37°C for 24 hours. One-way analysis of variance and Tukey post hoc tests were used for statistical analyses. For CSE, groups 2,3, and 4 and for OSE, groups 6,2, and 4 showed significantly lower bond strengths than the control group (p<0.05). CSE groups 5 and 6 and OSE groups 3 and 5 revealed bond strengths similar to the control. When saliva contamination occurred after light polymerization of the bonding agent, repeating the bonding procedure recovered the bonding capacity of both self-etch adhesives. However, saliva contamination before or after primer application negatively affected their bond strength.
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