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J Biomed Mater Res. 2000 Mar 5;49(3):338-44.

Citric acid etching of cervical sclerotic dentin lesions: an AFM study.

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Division of Biomaterials and Bioengineering, Department of Restorative Dentistry, 707 Parnassus Ave., University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143-0758, USA.


Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been used to determine microstructural changes, etching rates of peritubular dentin, and intertubular dentin recession during demineralization in dilute acidic solutions. These studies have not included many forms of altered dentin, including noncarious sclerotic root dentin associated with Cl V (abfraction) lesions. We sought to determine microstructural changes and recession rates during demineralization in citric acid (pH 2.5, 0.018M) for the transparent/sclerotic zone. Highly polished dentin disks were prepared from teeth with noncarious C1 V lesions (n = 3) and compared with normal root dentin (n = 3). Samples were etched at 5-s intervals for 1 min and at longer intervals up to 30 min. The depth changes in various portions of the dentin with respect to the reference layer were measured and changes in microstructure observed in solution in the wet cell of the AFM. In sclerotic dentin, most tubule lumens were occluded with crystalline deposits that etched more slowly than the other dentin components, but etching rates could not be determined due to their irregular geometry. The intertubular dentin recession quickly reached a plateau after a depth change of <1 microm for all dentin types, in agreement with prior work. Mixed linear regression models indicated an important difference between the etching of sclerotic intertubular dentin and that of non-sclerotic root dentin that became apparent after 600 s (p = 0.037). The sclerotic intertubular dentin underwent less depth change at the plateau (558 nm) compared to normal root dentin (744 nm). In addition, normal root dentin underwent significantly greater recession than coronal dentin (p = 0.002). The results of this study indicate that intertubular sclerotic dentin from Cl V lesions etches differently than normal root dentin, and this may help explain the difficulties in restoring such lesions with current bonding procedures.

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