Smear Layer-Deproteinization: Improving the Adhesion of Self-Etch Adhesive Systems to Caries-Affected Dentin

Keiichi Hosaka, Taweesak Prasansuttiporn, Ornnicha Thanatvarakorn, Sitthikorn Kunawarote, Masahiro Takahashi, Richard M. Foxton, Junji Tagami, Masatoshi Nakajima*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of review: This paper reviews a new method of dentin surface modification, smear layer-deproteinization for self-etch adhesive systems, particularly in relation to improving the adhesion to caries-affected dentin. Recent Findings: Remnants of smear debris, which forms hybridized smear layer with self-etch adhesives, can prevent monomer infiltration and interfere with the chemical interaction of adhesive monomers and the underlying dentin. The hybridized smear layer weakens the physical and chemical properties of the resin-dentin hybridized complex both immediately and over time. Smear layer-deproteinization with NaOCl and HOCl solutions can improve the quality of resin-dentin interface of self-etch adhesives through elimination of the hybridized smear layer, development of monomer infiltration, and enhancement of the chemical interaction of adhesive monomers with hydroxyapatite due to an increase in the mineral/organic ratio on the dentin surface. These positive effects are influenced by the types of oxidizing solution and their application time and also depend upon the adhesive materials used because compromising effects of residual oxidized-byproducts at the dentin surface on the polymerization behavior of the adhesives are different between the materials. However, applying antioxidant/reducing agents can eliminate this problem. Summary: Smear layer-deproteinization is more effective for improving the bonding efficacy of self-etch adhesives to caries-affected dentin than normal dentin because caries-affected dentin produces a thicker organic-rich smear layer. Smear layer-deproteinization with HOCl solution, which has a rapid and broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity with less irritating and sensitizing properties, along with the subsequent application of antioxidant/reducing agents could enhance the longevity of composite restoration with self-etch adhesives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-177
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Oral Health Reports
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018


  • Antioxidant/reducing agent
  • Caries-affected dentin
  • Oxidizing solution
  • Self-etch adhesive
  • Smear layer
  • Smear layer-deproteinization


Dive into the research topics of 'Smear Layer-Deproteinization: Improving the Adhesion of Self-Etch Adhesive Systems to Caries-Affected Dentin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this