Comparison of methods for evaluating mineral loss: Hardness versus synchrotron microcomputed tomography

A. C.B. Delbem, K. T. Sassaki, A. E.M. Vieira, E. Rodrigues, M. Bergamaschi, S. R. Stock, M. L. Cannon, X. Xiao, F. De Carlo, A. C.B. Delbem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


This study analyzed degrees of demineralization in bovine enamel using synchrotron microcomputed tomography (SMCT) and hardness measurements (Knoop hardness number, KHN). For 5 days, 40 bovine enamel blocks were individually subjected to a pH cycling model and treatment with fluoride dentifrices (placebo, 275, 550 and 1,100 μg F/g) diluted in deionized water twice a day. Surface hardness number and cross-sectional profiles of hardness and mineral concentration (by SMCT) were determined. Integrated hardness (KHN × μm) for sound and demineralized specimens was calculated and subtracted to give the integrated loss of hardness (ΔKHN) for the lesions. Increasing fluoride concentration in the dentifrices led to higher values for surface hardness after pH cycling and mineral concentration (gHAp cm-3), and lower values for ΔKHN (p < 0.05). From the present results, it may be concluded that hardness measurements revealed demineralization in all groups, which was lower in groups treated with dentifrice with a higher F concentration. SMCT and hardness measurements gave similar results in areas with higher demineralization, but diverged in areas with lower demineralization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-365
Number of pages7
JournalCaries Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009


  • Bovine enamel
  • Hardness
  • In vitro
  • Synchrotron microcomputed tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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