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J Endod. 1992 May;18(5):209-15.

Effects of moisture content and endodontic treatment on some mechanical properties of human dentin.

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Boston University School of Graduate Dentistry.


The objective of this study was to determine whether significant differences exist between the mechanical properties of human dentin from treated pulpless teeth and dentin from normal vital teeth. Dentin specimens (n = 262) were obtained from 54 freshly extracted normal vital human teeth and 24 treated human pulpless teeth. These specimens were subjected to different experimental conditions (wet, air dried, desiccated, and rehydrated). Compression, indirect tensile, and impact tests were conducted to measure the mechanical properties of those specimens. All data obtained were analyzed with t tests. The results showed that the dehydration of dentin increases the Young's modulus, proportional limit (in compression), and especially the ultimate strength (in both compression and tension). Substantial dehydration changes the fracture characteristics of dentin specimens under static compressive and indirect tensile loadings. The measurements of impact-breaking energies of desiccated dentin were not found to be significantly decreased. The compressive and tensile strengths of dentin from treated pulpless teeth obtained in this study do not appear to be significantly different from those of normal dentin (p > 0.05), while the mean values of Young's modulus and proportional limit in compression tests appear to be lower. Fifty percent of the dentin specimens from treated pulpless teeth exhibit greater plastic deformation than normal dentin in compression. The results of this study do not support the theory that dehydration after endodontic treatment per se weakens dentin structure in terms of compressive and tensile strengths. Other mechanical properties of treated pulpless teeth, however, may not be the same as those of normal vital teeth.

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