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Acta Biomater. 2012 Jul;8(7):2737-46. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2012.03.046. Epub 2012 Apr 3.

Contributions of aging to the fatigue crack growth resistance of human dentin.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland Baltimore County, USA.


An evaluation of the fatigue crack resistance of human dentin was conducted to identify the degree of degradation that arises with aging and the dependency on tubule orientation. Fatigue crack growth was achieved in specimens of coronal dentin through application of Mode I cyclic loading and over clinically relevant lengths (0 ≤ a ≤ 2 mm). The study considered two directions of cyclic crack growth in which the crack was either in-plane (0°) or perpendicular (90°) to the dentin tubules. Results showed that regardless of tubule orientation, aging of dentin is accompanied by a significant reduction in the resistance to the initiation of fatigue crack growth, as well as a significant increase in the rate of incremental extension. Perpendicular to the tubules, the fatigue crack exponent increased significantly (from m=14.2 ± 1.5 to 24.1 ± 5.0), suggesting an increase in brittleness of the tissue with age. For cracks extending in-plane with the tubules, the fatigue crack growth exponent does not change significantly with patient age (from m=25.4 ± 3.03 to 22.9 ± 5.3), but there is a significant increase in the incremental crack growth rate. Regardless of age, coronal dentin exhibits the lowest resistance to fatigue crack growth perpendicular to the tubules. While there are changes in the cyclic crack growth rate and mechanisms of cyclic extension with aging, this tissue maintains its anisotropy.

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