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Eur J Paediatr Dent. 2011 Sep;12(3):179-83.

Morphological characteristics of primary enamel surfaces versus permanent enamel surfaces: SEM digital analysis.

Author information

1
Department of Medical-Surgical Sciences of Communication and Behavior School of Dental Hygiene, Dental School, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy. lcclsn@unife.it

Abstract

AIM:

The morphology of permanent and primary enamel surface merits further analysis. The objective of this study was to illustrate a method of SEM digital image processing able to quantify and discriminate between the morphological characteristics of primary and permanent tooth enamel.

METHODS:

Sixteen extracted teeth, 8 primary teeth and 8 permanent teeth, kept in saline solution, were analysed. The teeth were observed under SEM. The SEM images were analysed by means of digitally processed algorithms. The two algorithms used were: Local standard deviation to measure surface roughness with the roughness index (RI); Hough's theorem to identify linear structures with the linear structure index (LSI).

RESULTS:

The SEM images of primary teeth enamel show smooth enamel with little areas of irregularity. No linear structures are apparent. The SEM images of permanent enamel show a not perfectly smooth surface; there are furrows and irregularities of variable depth and width.

CONCLUSION:

In the clinical practice a number of different situations require the removal of a thin layer of enamel. Only a good morphological knowledge of both permanent and primary tooth enamel gives the opportunity to identify and exploit the effects of rotary tools on enamel, thus allowing for a correct finishing technique.

PMID:
22077687
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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