Ultrastructural observations and growth of occluding crystals in carious dentine
The aim of the present study was to investigate the ultrastructural mechanisms involved in the formation of caries-induced intratubular dentine. Conventional, high resolution and scanning transmission electron microscopy, electron diffraction and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy techniques were used to study the ultrastructure of the inorganic phase in the transparent zone of carious dentine. The results demonstrated that the bulk of the inorganic phase in caries-induced intratubular dentine had an apatite crystal structure with the presence of additional Mg-substituted β-TCP (β-tricalcium phosphate) phase in the carious region. Highly oriented apatite crystallites observed in intratubular dentine demonstrated a regulated biomineralization process during the formation of inorganic phase in this region, whereas Mg β-TCP crystals were presumably formed purely via “dissolution/precipitation” mechanism. The study demonstrated the importance of “dissolution/precipitation” process and the growth kinetics of Mg-substituted β-TCP crystals in understanding the process of formation of calcium-phosphate crystallites in carious intratubular dentine.
Journal: Acta Biomaterialia - Volume 4, Issue 5, September 2008, Pages 1427–1439