Radiation and Environmental Biophysics

, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 293–299 | Cite as

Detecting demineralization of enamel and cementum after gamma irradiation using radiographic densitometry

  • Rowida Abdalla
  • Amr Omar
  • Kareem Eid
Original Article


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability of radiographic densitometry in detecting the early demineralization of human enamel and cementum in irradiated and non-irradiated teeth. Sixty extracted teeth were divided into two groups: irradiated group and non-irradiated group. After irradiation, the groups were subjected to demineralization–remineralization (PH) cycling. Radiographic densitometric measurements (gray values) of a selected area of interest in the enamel and in the cementum of each tooth were performed at baseline and after PH cycling. After PH cycling, there was a significant reduction in gray values for both groups. The difference between “baseline” and “after PH cycling” values represents the reduction in the mineral content of the hard tissue, i.e., the demineralization. Results show that the demineralization of irradiated tooth enamel and cementum was significantly higher compared to that of non-irradiated tissues as determined by gray-level values. It is concluded that densitometric measurements by means of digital radiographs allow for the detection of demineralization of enamel and cementum, and can be used successfully for diagnosis of the early carious lesions in patients who received head and neck radiotherapy. This will allow implementation of remineralizing therapy and avoid the risk of progression of radiation caries. Furthermore, it is concluded that gamma irradiation with typical therapeutic doses for head and neck carcinoma is a direct cause of demineralization of tooth enamel and cementum.


Radiotherapy Densitometry Enamel Cementum Gamma irradiation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Restorative Dentistry, Department of Oral Health Practice, D632A UK Chandler HospitalUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Health Radiation Research Department, National Center for Radiation Research and Technology (NCRRT)Atomic Energy AuthorityCairoEgypt
  3. 3.Fixed Prosthodontics DepartmentMisr International UniversityCairoEgypt
  4. 4.State University of New York at GeneseoNew YorkUSA

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