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Caries Res. 2009;43(1):70-7. doi: 10.1159/000201593. Epub 2009 Feb 10.

Biomechanical perspective on the remineralization of dentin.

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Division of Biomaterials and Bioengineering, Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0758, USA.


The objective of this article is to critically evaluate the methods that are used to assess outcomes of remineralization of dentin. Currently, the most used assessment methods fall either into quantitative analysis of the mineral content of the remineralized structures or dry measurements of their mechanical properties. Properties obtained from the dehydrated organic dentin matrix may not reflect the true mechanical behavior of the remineralized tissue under physiological and hydrated conditions. Here we seek to clarify the biomechanical aspects of remineralization of dentin, pointing out the effects of hydration and dehydration on the mechanical properties of treated tissues. We also emphasize that a more appropriate endpoint to evaluate the effectiveness of remineralization in dentin should be associated with the recovery of the mechanical properties of the hydrated tissue, which is presumed to correlate well with its overall functionality.

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