Crack blunting, crack bridging and resistance-curve fracture mechanics in dentin: effect of hydration
Few studies have focused on a description of the fracture toughness properties of dentin in terms of resistance-curve (R-curve) behavior, i.e., fracture resistance increasing with crack extension, particularly in light of the relevant toughening mechanisms involved. Accordingly, in the present study, fracture mechanics based experiments were conducted on elephant dentin in order to determine such R-curves, to identify the salient toughening mechanisms and to discern how hydration may affect their potency. Crack bridging by uncracked ligaments, observed directly by microscopy and X-ray tomography, was identified as a major toughening mechanism, with further experimental evidence provided by compliance-based experiments. In addition, with hydration, dentin was observed to display significant crack blunting leading to a higher overall fracture resistance than in the dehydrated material. The results of this work are deemed to be of importance from the perspective of modeling the fracture behavior of dentin and in predicting its failure in vivo.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 24, Issue 28, December 2003, Pages 5209–5221