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Biomaterials. 2006 Apr;27(11):2507-17. Epub 2005 Dec 9.

Age, dehydration and fatigue crack growth in dentin.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250, USA.


A preliminary study of the effects from age and dehydration on fatigue crack growth in human dentin was conducted. Compact tension (CT) fatigue specimens of coronal dentin were prepared from extracted molars and subjected to high cycle fatigue (10(5)<N<10(6)) under Mode I loading. Young hydrated dentin (mean age=25+/-7 years), old hydrated dentin (mean age=55+/-14 years) and young dehydrated dentin (mean age=20+/-2 years) were examined. Fatigue crack growth rates were quantified according to the Paris Law in terms of the crack growth exponent (m) and coefficient (C). The average fatigue crack growth exponent for the young hydrated dentin (m=13.3+/-1.1) was significantly less than that for the hydrated old (m=21.6+/-5.2; p<0.003) and dehydrated young dentin (m=18.8+/-2.8; p<0.01). Fatigue cracks in the old dentin underwent initiation at a lower stress intensity range than in young dentin and propagated at as significantly faster rate (over 100x). Differences in the microscopic features of the fracture surfaces from the old and young dentin suggested that particular mechanisms contributing to energy dissipation and crack growth resistance in the young hydrated dentin were not present in the old dentin. Based on results of this study, the fatigue crack growth resistance of human dentin decreases with both age of the tissue and dehydration.

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