The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether surface wetness would influence the bonding effectiveness of universal adhesives in etch-and-rinse mode. All-Bond Universal (AB), G-Premio Bond (GP), Prime & Bond Active (PB), and Scotchbond Universal Adhesive (SU) were evaluated. Initial bond strengths and bond-fatigue strengths of universal adhesives to both wet and dry enamel and dentin in etch-and-rinse mode were determined. Scanning electron microscopy observations of the adhesive interfaces were also conducted. The bond-fatigue durability of universal adhesive to enamel in etch-and-rinse mode was influenced by the surface wetness, unlike that to dentin. The bond fatigue durability of AB and GP to dentin in etch-and-rinse mode was different depending on the surface wetness, unlike that of PB and SU. The thicknesses of the adhesive or hybrid layer of resin–dentin interfaces were not influenced by the surface wetness, but the length of resin tags in the wet group was longer than in the dry group. Some universal adhesives with the addition of specific components and optimization of water content can achieve stable bonds regardless of surface wetness, but the surface wetness of dentin is still a significant factor for universal adhesive bonding in etch-and rinse mode, unlike that of enamel.
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