OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to analyse and compare the protective effect of buffered (pH 3.5) and native (pH 1.2) TiF(4) in comparison to NaF solutions of same pH on dentin erosion. DESIGN: Bovine samples were pretreated with 1.50% TiF(4) or 2.02% NaF (both 0.48M F) solutions, each with a pH of 1.2 and 3.5. The control group received no fluoride pretreatment. Ten samples in each group were eroded with HCl (pH 2.6) for 10x60s. Erosion was analysed by determination of calcium release into the acid. Additionally, the surface and the elemental surface composition were examined by scanning electron microscopy (two samples in each group) and X-ray energy-dispersive spectroscopy in fluoridated but not eroded samples (six samples in each group). Cumulative calcium release (nmol/mm(2)) was statistically analysed by repeated measures ANOVA and one-way ANOVA at t=10min. RESULTS: TiF(4) and NaF at pH 1.2 decreased calcium release significantly, while TiF(4) and NaF at pH 3.5 were not effective. Samples treated with TiF(4) at pH 1.2 showed a significant increase of Ti, while NaF pretreatment increased F concentration significantly. TiF(4) at pH 1.2 led to the formation of globular precipitates occluding dentinal tubules, which could not be observed on samples treated with TiF(4) at pH 3.5. NaF at pH 1.2 but not at pH 3.5 induced the formation of surface precipitates covering dentinal tubules. CONCLUSION: Dentin erosion can be significantly reduced by TiF(4) and NaF at pH 1.2, but not at pH 3.5.