3D X-ray microscopic study of the extent of variations in enamel density in first permanent molars with idiopathic enamel hypomineralisation

Fearne, J.; Anderson, P.; Davis, G. R.
May 2004
British Dental Journal;5/22/2004, Vol. 196 Issue 10, p634
Academic Journal
Objective To measure mineral concentration distributions within teeth with idiopathic enamel hypomineralisation, a condition in which developmental defects are seen in first permanent molars, and/or incisors.Design X-ray microtomographic and 3D x-ray microscopy.Setting UK University, 2001.Materials and methods X-ray microtomographic measurements of the extent of hypomineralisation in two affected molars and two contralateral controls extracted from the same patient.Results The control molars were visibly normal. The affected molars showed hypomineralised yellow opaque enamel with regions of breakdown. X-ray microtomographic images showed; a 20% reduction in mineral concentration of affected enamel (most cases involved full enamel thickness); hypomineralised enamel had a mineral concentration gradient opposite to that of normal enamel; regions of hypomineralisation distributed randomly throughout affected teeth, (apart from cervical region which was less severely affected).Conclusions The pattern of mineral concentration suggests a disturbance during the maturation process. Differences in susceptibility of the ameloblasts during different stages of dental development may explain the asymmetric distribution of the defects. Topical fluoride applications may help promote post eruption maturation of the surface layer in these teeth. The use of fissure sealants and adhesive materials appears to prevent further breakdown.


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