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Measurement of surface roughness changes of unpolished and polished enamel following erosion

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Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0182406
JournalPLOS One
Issue number8
Early online date3 Aug 2017
Accepted/In press18 Jul 2017
E-pub ahead of print3 Aug 2017


King's Authors


Objectives: To determine if Sa roughness data from measuring one central location of unpolished and polished enamel were representative of the overall surfaces before and after erosion. Methods: Twenty human enamel sections (4x4 mm) were embedded in bis-acryl composite and randomised to either a native or polishing enamel preparation protocol. Enamel samples were subjected to an acid challenge (15 minutes 100 mL orange juice, pH 3.2, titratable acidity 41.3mmol OH/L, 62.5 rpm agitation, repeated for three cycles). Median (IQR) surface roughness [Sa] was measured at baseline and after erosion from both a centralised cluster and four peripheral clusters. Within each cluster, five smaller areas (0.04 mm2) provided the Sa roughness data. Results: For both unpolished and polished enamel samples there were no significant differences between measuring one central cluster or four peripheral clusters, before and after erosion. For unpolished enamel the single central cluster had a median (IQR) Sa roughness of 1.45 (2.58) μm and the four peripheral clusters had a median (IQR) of 1.32 (4.86) μm before erosion; after erosion there were statistically significant reductions to 0.38 (0.35) μm and 0.34 (0.49) μm respectively (p<0.0001). Polished enamel had a median (IQR) Sa roughness 0.04 (0.17) μm for the single central cluster and 0.05 (0.15) μm for the four peripheral clusters which statistically significantly increased after erosion to 0.27 (0.08) μm for both (p<0.0001). Conclusion: Measuring one central cluster of unpolished and polished enamel was representative of the overall enamel surface roughness, before and after erosion.

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