Objective To evaluate in vitro the shear bond strength of orthodontic molar tubes to composite restoration bonded with particular adhesives after different surface pre-treatments. Setting and sample population The sample population is 60 extracted molars. Materials and methods After the teeth were thermocycled, they were randomly divided into six groups according to the adhesive and various surface pre-treatments that had been applied. The surface pre-treatments included sandblasting with 50-mu m aluminium oxide particles and roughening with diamond bur and 37% phosphoric acid. Transbond XT Adhesive Primer (3M Unitek) (TXT) and Assure Plus (Reliance Orthodontic Products) adhesives were used in the study. Following the application of the adhesives, the brackets were bonded to the surfaces of the teeth. Shear bond strength was measured using a universal testing machine. Data were analysed with one-way ANOVA and LSD tests (P = .05). The adhesive remnant index (ARI) was determined using a stereomicroscope. Data from the ARI scores were submitted to Pearson's chi-squared test (P = .05). Results The highest shear bond strengths were obtained in the Assure Plus group 15.05 +/- 3.72 MPa after sandblasting (P < .05). The lowest shear bond strengths were found in the TXT group (7.52 +/- 2.89 MPa; P < .05). Sandblasting and bur pre-treatment for TXT and Assure Plus adhesives increased shear bond strength in both of them. There were no significant differences in the ARI scores between the groups (P > .05). Conclusion Sandblasting and roughening pre-treatment can increase the bond strength of teeth with composite restoration. Assure Plus is also more effective than conventional adhesive systems.