Bonding systems are commonly categorized and referred to as generation IV, V, VI and VII. For a variety of reasons, this naming system gets confusing.

Another way to categorize bonding systems is based on the component steps. The following diagram lays out the classification of all the bonding systems in use today with corresponding reference to the generation and examples.‚Äč

Classification of Bonding systems

The other problem of referring to bonding systems by generation is the connotation that the higher up we go in generations, the better the bonding system would be. This is just not true. In the world of software, as you move up to higher versions, it becomes better and faster; however, bonding agent generations don’t work this way.

For many, 6th Generation, Self etch Primer + Bond system is the most popular. Please let us know below which bonding system you use most often in your daily practice.

A. 4th Generation. Etch. Rinse. Prime. Bond.

B. 5th Generation. Etch. Rinse. (Prime+Bond)

C. 6th Generation. (Etch+Prime) Bond

D. 7th Generation. (Etch+Prime+Bond)


Joe Serflek
July 3rd, 2012
My answer isn't included in your above options. We use Surpass for all bonding in our office. Surpass is a total etch, no rinse, 3 bottle system.
Jason Tubo
July 3rd, 2012
I use a 4th generation 3-step system (OptiBond) when I judge the majority of my restoration is bonding to dentin. For that reason, it is also my exclusive bonding agent for Class V restorations. I use a 5th generation 2-step system (Adper Singlebond) when bonding to majority enamel or when there is a very distinct enamel halo to rely on for chemical retention.
Vivek Mehta
July 4th, 2012
@Joe Serflek, @Jason Tubo: Thank you for the comments. Very helpful to read about these choices because it highlights one crucial aspect of Bonding systems. Having a adequately etched enamel is very crucial to long term success of your restorations. SURPASS and ClearFill SE claim that they do as good a job of etching enamel as Phosphoric acid does. Clinicians who choose to use the Etch and Rinse Systems feel that Phosphoric acid is the best method of achieving the proper enamel-resin bond.
David O'Malley
July 8th, 2012
Would selective acid etching of the enamel prior to Clearfill SE primer improve the enamel bond?
Vivek Mehta
July 10th, 2012
@David O'Malley: Thank you for the comment. That is a very important point. Selective etching definitely improves the enamel bond. There may be differing opinions about lot of things in Bonding chemistry but there is an agreement across the board, backed by good independent research about two things 1. Enamel bonding is very crucial for long term success. Self etching primers may come close but they are not superior to Phosphoric acid etched enamel bonding. 2. Dentin bonding degrades over time in the mouth. Measuring durability of dentin bonding over time in vivo is more critical than immediate bond strength measured in the first 24 hours in lab. Clearfill SE probably has the best long term in vivo studies showing good long term dentin bond strengths So bottom line : Selective etching of enamel with phosphoric acid will further improve the long term clinical success of Clearfill SE. JERD has some very interesting research on this. Would be happy to post the link if you are interested. Again, thank you for the question. It helps all of us understand this confusing subject better.