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J Dent Res. 2003 Dec;82(12):957-61.

The importance of intrafibrillar mineralization of collagen on the mechanical properties of dentin.

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Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, USA.


It is widely held that the hardness and modulus of dentin increase in proportion to the mineral concentration. To test this belief, we measured hardness and modulus of normal dentin and an altered form of dentin without gap-zone mineralization in wet and dry conditions by AFM nanoindentation to determine if the modulus and hardness scale linearly with mineral concentration. Mineral concentrations in the mid-coronal location of the normal and altered dentins were 44.4 vol% and 30.9 vol%, respectively. Surrounding the pulp of the altered dentin was a region of higher mineralization, 40.5 vol%. The indentation modulus of normal dentin was 23.9 (SD = 1.1) GPa dry and 20.0 (SD = 1.0) GPa wet. In mid-coronal regions of the altered dentin, the indentation modulus was 13.8 (SD = 2.0) GPa dry and 5.7 (SD = 1.4) GPa wet. In the more mineralized regions of the altered dentin, the modulus was 20.4 (SD = 1.8) GPa dry and 5.3 (SD = 0.8) GPa wet; the properties of the altered wet dentin did not correlate with mineral concentration. The results of this study raise doubt as to whether mineral concentration alone is a sufficient endpoint for assessing the success or failure of remineralization approaches in restorative dentistry.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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