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Compend Contin Educ Dent. 2014 Oct;35(9):e31-5.

The effect of prophylactic powders on the surface roughness of enamel.



To assess the effect of dental prophylactic methods on the surface roughness of enamel.


Enamel specimens (150) were sectioned from human molars and mounted on resin bases. This work consisted of two parts. In the first, there were eight groups (n = 15). Three groups were treated with two air-polishing devices (AP)—LM-ProPower AirLED (Mode 1 and 2) and EMS Air-Flow Handy 2—for 30 seconds and sodium bicarbonate prophylactic powder, and three other groups were treated with the two air-polishing devices using microsphere calcium carbonate prophylactic powder. The seventh group was treated with rubber-cup polishing using medium and fine grits (Oral-B prophy paste), and the eighth (control) was enamel with no surface treatment. In the second part of the work, two groups (n = 15) were subjected to treatment with the LM unit (Mode 2) and each of the abrasive powders for 5 seconds. Surface roughness (Ra) of samples was assessed using a mechanical stylus profilometer and scanning electron microscope (SEM). Statistical analysis of the data was conducted using two-way ANOVA and Tukey HSD (honest significant difference) rank order test at P = 0.05.


Both prophylactic methods resulted in a statistically significant increase in surface roughness (P < 0.05) when compared to untreated specimens. All air-abrasive treatments for 30 seconds resulted in an increase in roughness compared to rubber-cup prophylaxis (P < 0.05). However, AP with calcium carbonate and the sodium bicarbonate for 5 seconds produced results that were not significantly different from rubber-cup prophylaxis (P > 0.05).


Both types of prophylactic dental cleaning have an effect on surface roughness. The abrasiveness of APs depends upon the length of treatment and the type of powder used.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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