The effect of window width on the demineralization of human dentine and enamel

J Ruben, J Arends, J Christoffersen*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    When lesion formation in dental enamel or dentine is studied in vitro, a well-defined area of the material, a 'window', is exposed to the demineralization medium. In the present experiments, we report the effect of window width on lesion formation in enamel and dentine. Rectangular windows, longest dimension always 5 mm and shortest dimension varying from 0.5 to 5 mm, were exposed to demineralization media. Lesions in dentine were formed by placing the specimens in an acidified unstirred 6% carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) gel, an unstirred 0.5% CMC gel, a mildly stirred 0.5% CMC gel, or in a mildly stirred demineralization solution. Lesions in enamel were formed only in an unstirred acidified 6% CMC gel. pH in the demineralization media was 5.0 in all experiments. The microradiographic technique was used to assess lesion depth and mineral loss ( m) of lesions formed. Lesions formed in the unstirred gels were deeper, and there was a larger mineral loss, the narrower the window. There was no effect of window size on lesions formed in stirred systems. These effects can be explained by the strong dependence of concentration gradient in stirred gels just outside the exposed window on the window size, The phenomenon found here in vitro may at least partly explain why secondary caries may lead to localized, but relatively deep, lesions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)214-219
    Number of pages6
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1999


    • demineralization
    • dentine
    • enamel
    • window

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