Three dimensional surface texture analysis for characterisation of enamel erosion

    Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Dental Science


    3D surface texture parameters have yet to be applied to dental erosion of human enamel. This project aimed to investigate the effect of acid-mediated erosive enamel wear on the micro-texture of polished (Group 1) and unpolished (Group 2) human enamel in vitro. 20 polished and 20 unpolished enamel samples were prepared and subjected to a citric acid erosion and pooled human saliva remineralisation model. For the polished samples, enamel surface microhardness was measured using a Knoop hardness tester, step height enamel loss was measured using a white-light confocal profilometer and surface texture was measured using confocal laser scanning microscopy in combination with MountainsMap® surface analysis software. For the unpolished samples, only surface texture was measured. Statistical analyses were carried out with repeated measures one-way ANOVA. For the polished samples, the microhardness and profilometry confirmed that an early enamel erosion lesion was formed which was then subsequently completely remineralised. The height and functional surface texture parameters were able to successfully characterise the enamel erosion and remineralisation for the polished enamel samples (P<0.005) but not for the unpolished enamel samples (P>0.05). In conclusion, ISO 25178 3D height and functional surface texture parameters can be used to characterise the effect of enamel demineralisation by acid erosion and enamel remineralisation by human saliva, with reference to established methods for measuring tooth wear (surface microhardness and non-contacting profilometry), in very early enamel erosion lesions in polished enamel surfaces in vitro. This has relevance both for better characterising and understanding the fundamental mechanisms involved in erosive wear of human enamel and also for developing targets for studies investigating the potential effectiveness of surface treatments in enamel erosion, such as oral care products and remineralising surface treatments.
    Date of Award2014
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • King's College London
    SponsorsAcademy of Medical Sciences, Wellcome Trust, BHF British Heart Foundation & Arthritis Research UK
    SupervisorDavid Bartlett (Supervisor) & Rebecca Moazzez (Supervisor)

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