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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) investigation of selected desensitizing agents in the dentine disc model.

Dentine sensitivity is a painful clinical conditions that can affect up to 35% of the population at any one time. Both professionally available (in-office) or commercially available (over-the-counter) products have been used to treat dentine sensitivity. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether selected in-office desensitizing agents occluded dentine tubules in the dentine disc model. Both surface effects and tubule penetration of the five selected test products were examined by scanning electron microscopy. The results of the present study appeared to demonstrate that all of the applied desensitizing agents produced some occlusion of the tubules although the level of coverage and occlusion varied between the products. Of all the agents tested, ferric oxalate, the active ingredient of Sensodyne Sealant, produced crystal-like structures which occluded a higher proportion of the tubules across the dentine disc surface. ALL-BOND 2 and One-Step (both light-cured primer systems) produced similar crystal-like structures and, although coverage was not uniform across the disc surface, there was some reduction in tubule diameter. These three products, however, appeared to be more effective than either Butler Protect (potassium oxalate) or Oxa-gel (potassium oxalate in a gel) where there was a marked decrease in both the level of coverage and tubule occlusion. Both quantitative and functional studies are required in order to determine the effects of these agents on dentine permeability (fluid flow) as well as clinical studies to determine their effectiveness over time in reducing pain arising from dentine sensitivity.[1]


  1. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) investigation of selected desensitizing agents in the dentine disc model. Gillam, D.G., Khan, N., Mordan, N.J., Barber, P.M. Endodontics & dental traumatology. (1999) [Pubmed]
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