OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to assess the shear bond strength (SBS) of metal brackets when placed with a caries protective adhesive patch. METHODS: Forty stainless steel brackets (Ormco) were bonded to 40 bovine enamel samples according to the following conditioning/bonding procedures using a resin-based orthodontic luting material (Heliosit Orthodontic, N=10 per group): (A) 35% phosphoric acid (30s), rinse and dry; (B) as in A but additional placement of a prototype adhesive patch (Ivoclar Vivadent) using a bonding agent (Heliobond); (C) application of a two-step self-etch adhesive (AdheSE); (D) as in C but additional patch placement. Samples were stored at 37 degrees C for 24h. SBS was measured with a universal testing machine with a crosshead speed of 0.5mm/min and the adhesive remnant index (ARI) was determined under a stereomicroscope (16x). RESULTS: Mean SBS (standard deviation) values were as follows: (A) 16.6 (6.4)MPa; (B) 12.2 (5.8); (C) 12.9 (5.0); and (D) 10.5 (4.7). Analysis of variance followed by Bonferroni correction revealed no statistically significant differences. In 2 (B) and 4 (D) specimens, complete retention of the adhesive patch was observed. CONCLUSIONS: All treatment groups showed adequate bond strength values. The adhesive patch could therefore be applied in combination with orthodontic brackets and seal the enamel adjacent to the bracket.