Precision of 655nm Confocal Laser Profilometry for 3D surface texture characterisation of natural human enamel undergoing dietary acid mediated erosive wear

F Mullan, P Mylonas, C Parkinson, D Bartlett, R S Austin

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18 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To assess the precision of optical profilometry for characterising the 3D surface roughness of natural and polished human enamel in order to reliably quantify acid mediated surface roughness changes in human enamel.

METHODS: Forty-two enamel samples were prepared from extracted human molars and either polished flat or left unmodified. To investigate precision, the variability of thirty repeated measurements of five areas of one polished and one natural enamel sample was assessed using 655nm Confocal Laser Profilometry. Remaining samples were subjected to forty-five minutes orange juice erosion and microstructural changes were analysed using Sa roughness change (μm) and qualitatively using surface/subsurface confocal microscopy.

RESULTS: Enamel surface profilometry from the selected areas revealed maximal precision of 5nm for polished enamel and 23nm for natural enamel. After erosion, the polished enamel revealed a 48% increase in mean (SD) Sa roughness of 0.10 (0.07)μm (P<0.05), whereas in contrast the natural enamel revealed a 45% decrease in mean (SD) roughness of -0.32 (0.42)μm (P<0.05). These data were supported by qualitative confocal images of the surface/subsurface enamel.

SIGNIFICANCE: This study demonstrates a method for precise surface texture measurement of natural human enamel. Measurement precision was superior for polished flat enamel in contrast to natural enamel however, natural enamel responds very differently to polished enamel when exposed to erosion challenges. Therefore, thus future studies characterising enamel surface changes following erosion on natural enamel may provide more clinically relevant responses in comparison to polished enamel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-537
JournalDental Materials
Volume34
Issue number3
Early online date6 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

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