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Released: Thursday, July 28, 2016
Expires: Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Universal Adhesives: Are They Truly Universal?

By Gregg A. Helvey, DDS, MAGD, CDT

Commercial Supporter: Parkell

This article examines the questions of whether universal adhesives are truly universal, whether they can be used without limit or exception, and if so, whether those exceptions depend on the conditions. In particular, the article will focus on the different application modes and the most predictable bonding techniques in an attempt to answer these questions.


  • List the major universal adhesive functional monomers and identify their main characteristics

  • Discuss how dentistry’s understanding of how functional monomers interact with hydroxyapatite was advanced by the adhesion-decalcification concept

  • Describe the main differences between self-etch and etch-and-rinse modes of adhesion

About the Author

Gregg A. Helvey, DDS, MAGD, CDT
Dr. Helvey is an adjunct associate professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry. He also teaches cosmetic dentistry in the AEGD residency program and maintains a private practice in Middleburg, Virginia. He is the Restorative Section Editor and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Inside Dentistry.

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