ACS applied materials & interfaces

Monitoring Demineralization and Subsequent Remineralization of Human Teeth at the Dentin-Enamel Junction with Atomic Force Microscopy.

PMID 26266571


Using atomic force microscopy, we monitored the nanoscale surface morphology of human teeth at the dentin-enamel junction after performing successive demineralization steps with an acidic soft drink. Subsequently, we studied the remineralization process with a paste containing calcium and phosphate ions. Repeated atomic force microscopy imaging of the same sample areas on the sample allowed us to draw detailed conclusions regarding the specific mechanism of the demineralization process and the subsequent remineralization process. The about 1-μm-deep grooves that are caused by the demineralization process were preferentially filled with deposited nanoparticles, leading to smoother enamel and dentine surfaces after 90 min exposure to the remineralizing agent. The deposited material is found to homogeneously cover the enamel and dentine surfaces in the same manner. The temporal evolution of the surface roughness indicates that the remineralization caused by the repair paste proceeds in two distinct successive phases.