Volume 60 (2018) Issue 1 Pages 121-128
The aim of this study was to determine whether recovery of mineral levels restored the mechanical properties of dentin subjected to different durations of demineralization. Dentin at the floor of class 1 cavities (n = 12) was demineralized for 1, 2, and 3 weeks. Half the demineralized cavity floor was coated (control side), and a Fuji IX restoration was placed. The remaining half was therefore in contact with the Fuji IX restoration (test side). Simulated dentin tubular fluid was then supplied to each pulp chamber for 6 weeks. After remineralization, the teeth were detached from the system and sectioned. Concentrations of calcium, phosphorus, fluorine, and strontium and mechanical properties (hardness and Young’s modulus) of the test and control sides were determined by electron probe microanalysis and nano-indentation, respectively. For remineralized dentin demineralized for 1 week, the substantial uptake of mineral elements restored hardness and Young’s modulus at depths of 50 to 200 μm from the lesion front. For longer periods of demineralization (2 and 3 weeks), structural damage to the demineralized dentin was severe and impeded recovery of mechanical properties, despite mineral uptake.