Comparing two quantitative methods for studying remineralization of artificial caries
Objectives To compare the detection of changes before and after remineralization of artificial enamel and dentin caries by microCT scanning, polarized light microscopy (PLM) and transverse microradiography (TMR). Methods Fourteen extracted premolars were cut into tooth blocks and painted with an acid-resistant varnish leaving one enamel and one dentin surface exposed. The tooth blocks were immersed into demineralizing solution for 4 days to produce artificial caries-like lesions and scanned by microCT. Then the 14 tooth blocks were randomly allocated into two groups. Seven tooth blocks in Group I were cut longitudinally through the exposed surface into 100-150 孠thick sections and microradiographs were taken. The other seven tooth blocks in Group II were left intact. All the tooth blocks and sections were then immersed into remineralizing solution for 5 days. PLM and TMR of the tooth sections in Group I were taken again. Depth of the lesion on the TMR was measured. Tooth blocks in Group II were scanned by microCT. Results Mean lesion depth in Group I reduced by 13.0% and 8.2% after remineralization for enamel and dentin, respectively (paired t-test, P < 0.001). In Group II, linear attenuation coefficient (LAC) of the region of interest (ROI) increased by 11.1% and 23.8% after remineralization for enamel and dentin lesions, respectively (paired t-test, P < 0.001). Conclusion Both microCT and microradiography are able to detect a change of similar magnitude in the artificial caries lesions after remineralization. MicroCT may be used to substitute TMR and PLM in in vitro studies about caries.
Journal of Dentistry