Superimposition of sequential scans to measure erosion on unpolished and curved human enamel

Petros Mylonas, Rebecca Moazzez, David Bartlett*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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To determine if superimposition of sequential scans can discriminate between different fluorides at step heights less than 5 μm on natural human enamel surfaces.

Materials and methods
Natural, unpolished, human enamel specimens (n = 60) were randomly assigned to one of three pre-treatment toothpaste slurries with a calcium silicate/fluoride, fluoride-only and a control. Baseline and post treatment scans, from a non-contacting profilometer with a 0.01 μm z-axis and <1 μm lateral scanning resolution were imported into superimposition software to define change in mean 3D step height and surface roughness following erosion in 0.3% citric acid for 15 min. Statistical analysis conducted with two-way repeated measures ANOVA and post-hoc Tukey's multiple comparisons.

Confidence and resolution of superimposition and subtraction of repeated profiles from unpolished enamel revealed accuracy within 1–2 μm. The technique was able to discriminate between the fluorides demonstrating statistical differences in mean (SD) 3D step height (μm) of 1.96 (0.40) and 2.75 (0.49) (p = 0.0024). There was a statistically significant increase in surface roughness for all groups after 15 min erosion compared to baseline. But no statistically significant difference between the interventions after 15 min erosion but there was compared to no fluoride (p = 0.006).

Superimposition and subtraction of profiles could discriminate between fluoride interventions, which showed statistical differences in enamel loss differences less than 3 μm.

Clinical significance
This erosion model and data analysis workflow was able to distinguish differences between scans of 3 μm on unpolished enamel following the interaction with fluoride.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103879
JournalJournal of Dentistry
Early online date28 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2022


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