December 15, 2023
Mark Agre, Technical Applications, Dental

Choose clinical success: 3M™ Scotchbond™ Universal Plus Adhesive

When choosing a new universal adhesive for your office, you have a lot to consider – including clinical history. Take a closer look at 3M’s latest adhesive – 3M™ Scotchbond™ Universal Plus Adhesive – and how it builds upon the history of its predecessor with a growing collection of clinical evidence.

Since their first appearance on the dental landscape, universal adhesives have established themselves as a great option to simplify procedures, streamline inventory, and satisfy patients. However, as the category has evolved, the available products to choose from have increased – making it more challenging than ever to choose the best option for each case. When selecting a universal adhesive, there are many factors to consider – not the least of which is clinical history and testing. (For more details on the benefits of universal adhesives, read our article: 3 Reasons to Choose Universal Adhesives.)

3M created the universal adhesive category in 2011 with the industry’s first universal adhesive, 3M™ Scotchbond™ Universal Adhesive. Since then, it has shown proven performance and has become the industry’s most researched universal adhesive, with over 400 published reviews. The new 3M™ Scotchbond™ Universal Plus Adhesive was developed to build upon the strengths of the original Scotchbond Universal Adhesive. While just recently launched in 2020, in addition to many existing in-vitro studies, substantial in-vivo studies have already highlighted its strong performance. In this article, we’ll discuss these studies and what they, and Scotchbond Universal Plus Adhesive, could mean for your practice.

Benefits of 3M™ Scotchbond™ Universal and Universal Plus Adhesive

Scotchbond Universal Adhesive laid the groundwork for an entire category of adhesives, introducing a convenient single-bottle solution with previously unseen benefits. This revolutionary adhesive provides high-strength, durable bonds in a single-step, one-coat application. It delivers true versatility:

  • Suitable for all direct and indirect bonding techniques
  • Works with all etching techniques, including total-etch, self-etch, and selective etch
  • Bonds to virtually all dental and restorative substrates including glass ceramics, without an extra primer
  • Produces virtually no post-operative sensitivity

Scotchbond Universal Plus Adhesive builds on this bonding legacy by introducing new features to give clinicians more control and predictability. As the first radiopaque universal adhesive, Scotchbond Universal Plus Adhesive reduces the risk of misdiagnosis and overtreatment due to adhesive pooling under restorations. In addition, Scotchbond Universal Plus Adhesive has the same high bond strength to caries-affected dentin as to sound dentin, enabling minimally invasive preparations. Plus, it seals caries-affected dentin by forming a welldefined, void-free hybrid layer, which helps prevent secondary decay. On top of all these benefits, Scotchbond Universal Plus Adhesive is fully aligned with 3M™ RelyX™ Universal Resin Cement – offering excellent bond strength for virtually all dual-cure resin cement indications.

Dental Advisor 2-Year Retrospective Report

In 2020, Dental Advisor published results of an ongoing study of Scotchbond Universal Plus Adhesive. In the study, the adhesive was used to bond 2,425 composites, crowns, and veneers. Of these restorations, 2,005 were 1-2 years old and available for recall. These restorations were evaluated for retention, lack of post-op sensitivity, and lack of marginal discoloration. Upon review, all restorations received an excellent rating in all categories:

  • None of the restorations debonded during the two years of service
  • No patients reported long-term sensitivity, and
  • None of the restorations showed any signs of marginal staining.

These results led to Scotchbond Universal Plus Adhesive receiving a 100% clinical performance rating at two years from Dental Advisor.

A bar graph showing the results of Dental Advisor’s 2020 study at two years (in 2020) with excellent retention, lack of postoperative sensitivity and lack of marginal discoloration.


University of Iceland, 2-Year Results

In 2021, the University of Iceland conducted a study of 3M products. While the primary objective of this study was to compare the use of warmed and room temperature 3M™ Filtek™ Universal Restorative, Scotchbond Universal Plus Adhesive was also used in the study to bond Class II composites in a split-mouth in-vivo study involving 48 patients. At the 2-year recall, all the restorations were considered clinically acceptable, and no adverse events occurred. Not only does this highlight the safety and efficacy of Scotchbond Universal Plus Adhesive but also of composite warming as a technique. The excellent results of Scotchbond Universal Plus Adhesive in these 2-year recalls aren’t surprising given the excellent feedback in its in-vivo evaluation prior to introduction.

Pre-Launch In-Vivo Evaluation

Before launch, an in-vivo evaluation of Scotchbond Universal Plus Adhesive was conducted with 309 dentists from 10 different countries. During the 6–12-week evaluation period, over 20,000 restorations were placed using Scotchbond Universal Plus Adhesive for all indications. After this time, participants were asked to rate the features of the new adhesive. The study resulted in excellent feedback in all categories. 95% of evaluators reported that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the performance of Scotchbond Universal Plus Adhesive, and over 95% rated the adhesive as same or better than their preferred adhesive. In addition, 99% of the evaluators stated the Scotchbond Universal Plus Adhesive had the same or lower incidence of post-operative sensitivity compared to their preferred adhesive. These results reinforce what we’ve already seen in this adhesive – that it consistently delivers excellent results for excellent, efficient restorative procedures.

Pie graphs showing the results of the pre-launch in-vivo evaluation of 3M™ Scotchbond™ Universal Plus Adhesive – 95% of evaluators were satisfied or very satisfied with the adhesive, 95% rated the adhesive as same or better than their preferred adhesive, and 99% said it had the same or lower incidence of postoperative sensitivity compared to their preferred adhesive.


Universal adhesives are a clinically proven class of dental adhesives that provide simplicity, versatility, and reliability. While Scotchbond Universal Adhesive is the first universal adhesive with the most peer-reviewed studies and clinical research completed, its successor, Scotchbond Universal Plus Adhesive, already has a growing body of clinical evidence. This new adhesive showed excellent clinical results at 2-year recalls during in-vivo studies with Dental Advisor and the University of Iceland. It also received very positive feedback during its in-vivo evaluation prior to introduction. Scotchbond Universal Plus Adhesive is a great option for your practice, and these in-vivo results should give you the confidence that it will last. To learn more about this next-generation adhesive, visit the product page: Scotchbond Universal Plus Adhesive

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