Histochemical changes of occlusal surface enamel of permanent teeth, where dental caries is questionable vs sound enamel surfaces
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This in vitro study was to classify questionable for caries occlusal surfaces (QCOS) of permanent teeth according to ICDAS codes 1, 2, and 3 and to compare them in terms of enamel mineral composition with the areas of sound tissue of the same tooth.
Partially impacted human molars (60) extracted for therapeutic reasons with QCOS were used in the study, photographed via a polarised light microscope and classified according to the ICDAS II (into codes 1, 2, or 3). The crowns were embedded in clear self-cured acrylic resin and longitudinally sectioned at the levels of the characterised lesions and studied by SEM/EDX, to assess enamel mineral composition of the QCOS. Univariate and multivariate random effect regressions were used for Ca (wt%), P (wt%), and Ca/P (wt%).
The EDX analysis indicated changes in the Ca and P contents that were more prominent in ICDAS-II code 3 lesions compared to codes 1 and 2 lesions. In these lesions, Ca (wt%) and P (wt%) concentrations were significantly decreased (p = 0.01) in comparison with sound areas. Ca and P (wt%) contents were significantly lower (p = 0.02 and p = 0.01 respectively) for code 3 areas in comparison with codes 1 and 2 areas. Significantly higher (p = 0.01) Ca (wt%) and P (wt%) contents were found on sound areas compared to the lesion areas.
The enamel of occlusal surfaces of permanent teeth with ICDAS 1, 2, and 3 lesions was found to have different Ca/P compositions, necessitating further investigation on whether these altered surfaces might behave differently on etching preparation before fissure sealant placement, compared to sound surfaces.
KeywordsIncipient lesions Questionable for caries occlusal surfaces ICDAS-II codes 1 and 2 Altered enamel composition
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All of the authors declare they have no conflicts of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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