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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Distinct decalcification process of dentin by different cariogenic organic acids: Kinetics, ultrastructure and mechanical properties

  • Author(s): Chien, YC
  • Burwell, AK
  • Saeki, K
  • Fernandez-Martinez, A
  • Pugach, MK
  • Nonomura, G
  • Habelitz, S
  • Ho, SP
  • Rapozo-Hilo, M
  • Featherstone, JD
  • Marshall, SJ
  • Marshall, GW
  • et al.

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Objectives We studied artificial dentin lesions in human teeth generated by lactate and acetate buffers (pH 5.0), the two most abundant acids in caries. The objective of this study was to determine differences in mechanical properties, mineral density profiles and ultrastructural variations of two different artificial lesions with the same approximate depth. Methods 0.05 M (pH 5.0) acetate or lactate buffer was used to create 1) 180 μm-deep lesions in non-carious human dentin blocks (acetate 130 h; lactate 14days); (2) demineralized, ∼180 μm-thick non-carious dentin discs (3 weeks). We performed nanoindentation to determine mechanical properties across the hydrated lesions, and micro X-ray computed tomography (MicroXCT) to determine mineral profiles. Ultrastructure in lesions was analyzed by TEM/selected area electron diffraction (SAED). Demineralized dentin discs were analyzed by small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). Results Diffusion-dominated demineralization was shown based on the linearity between lesion depths versus the square root of exposure time in either solution, with faster kinetics in acetate buffer. Nanoindentation revealed lactate induced a significantly sharper transition in reduced elastic modulus across the lesions. MicroXCT showed lactate demineralized lesions had swelling and more disorganized matrix structure, whereas acetate lesions had abrupt X-ray absorption near the margin. At the ultrastructural level, TEM showed lactate was more effective in removing minerals from the collagenous matrix, which was confirmed by SAXS analysis. Conclusions These findings indicated the different acids yielded lesions with different characteristics that could influence lesion formation resulting in their distinct predominance in different caries activities, and these differences may impact strategies for dentin caries remineralization.

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