Statement of the Problem: Low pH of self-etch adhesives might cause suboptimal polymerization.
Purpose: This study aimed to evaluate the effect of dentin depth (deep and superficial) on polymerization efficacy of two self-etch adhesives, with different pH by means of Knoop hardness test.
Materials and Method: In this in vitro study, sixty sound molars were used to prepare 30 superficial dentin and 30 deep dentin specimens. Dentin specimens of each depth were randomly distributed into two equal subgroups (N=15) and bonded by either Adper Prompt L-Pop (strong self-etch adhesive) or Adper Easy Bond (mild self-etch adhesive). Knoop hardness test was employed to evaluate degree of cross-linking of the adhesives. Data were analyzed with SPSS 16, using two-way ANOVA to compare mean hardness values of the study groups (p< 0.05).
Results: There was no interaction effect between dentin depth and the type of adhesive (p= 0.36). Regardless of dentin depth, hardness of Adper Easy Bond was significantly higher than that of Adper Prompt L-pop (p< 0.001). Moreover, both the adhesives showed higher hardness when bonded to superficial dentin compared to deep dentin (p< 0.001).
Conclusion: Degree of cross-linking of the self-etch adhesive with mild acidity was more than that of the strong self-etch adhesive after light-curing. Surface hardness of both adhesives was higher on superficial dentin compared to deep dentin.