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To give an overview of aspects of silane coupling agents and surface conditioning in dentistry.

Currently, silane coupling agents are used as adhesion promoters. Silanes are effective in enhancing adhesion between resin composite and silica-based ceramics. They do not bond effectively to non-silica based dental restorative materials. Surface conditioning of non-silica based ceramics with silica coating improves the bonding. This current overview will focus on the silane coupling agents: their properties, limitations in adhesion promotion and the clinical problems with the use of silanes. It will also focus on the current surface conditioning methods as well as new surface conditioning techniques to enhance the bonding through conventional silanization approaches.

Several surface conditioning methods are being used clinically to enhance the adhesion of resin composites to non-silica based restorative materials. Other approaches are under investigation. The clinical problem of using silanes in adhesion promotion is the bond degradation over time in oral environment.

The current silane coupling agents are not ideal. The current silane coupling agents can fulfill the minimum requirements in clinical practice to enhance the bonding of resin composite to dental restorative materials. Developments of novel surface conditioning methods and silane coupling agents are required to address the bond durability problem.