SCANNING VOL. 24, 101–105 (2002)
Received: May 24, 2001
Accepted with revision: September 19, 2001
© FAMS, Inc.

Evaluation of Demineralized Dentin Contraction by Stereo Measurements Using Environmental and Conventional Scanning Electron Microscopy

V. M. Dusevich and J. D. Eick

Department of Oral Biology, School of Dentistry, University of Missouri, Kansas City, Missouri, USA

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Summary: Numerous investigations of etched human dentin are performed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Usually specimens are fractured and cross sections of etched layers with underlying unaffected dentin are observed. Results from this study showed that the edge of the etched layer contracted and became curved after fracture of wet specimens and that tensile stresses were developed in this layer by acid etching. The degree of contraction was determined utilizing profiles of the specimen edges obtained with the help of stereo measurements. Fixation in glutaraldehyde decreased the contraction in wet specimens prepared for environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM). Fixation also decreased shrinkage of the demineralized layer due to gradual desiccation in the ESEM during observation. For conventional SEM, the contraction was minimized if specimens of etched and fixed dentin were fractured in the dry condition after dehydration.

Key words: stereo measurements, environmental scanning electron microscopy, etched dentin

PACS: 87.64.Dz, 61.16.Bg, 07.78+s, 06.30.Bp

This work was supported in part with grant # DE 09696 from NIDCR, NIH.

Address for reprints:
Vladimir M. Dusevich, Ph.D.
School of Dentistry
Department of Oral Biology
University of Missouri
650 East 25th Street
Kansas City, MO 64108, USA