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Ultrasound Med Biol. 2002 Jan;28(1):131-6.

New data on histology and physico-mechanical properties of human tooth tissue obtained with acoustic microscopy.

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  • 1Department of Physics, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada.


Quantitative evaluation of human tooth structural elements, revealed in acoustic images, has been carried out. It has been shown that tissue elements with different acoustic impedances differed in acoustic images by intensity of grey color, and also feature with different longitudinal sound velocities (C(L)). In the layer of mantle dentin, C(L) is 7% to 8% lower than in bulk dentin, and in the layer of dentin around the pulp chamber, C(L) is 15% lower. In carious enamel and dentin, C(L) decreases up to 7% to 17%. In pathologic teeth, dentin areas with higher density can be revealed; they feature higher C(L); in transparent dentin C(L) can be 15% to 20% higher than in bulk dentin. Results of the present study show that acoustic images reflect internal biomechanical properties of tooth tissue microstructure that can be evaluated quantitatively by means of longitudinal sound velocity determination.

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