Scanning Microscopy


Twenty one extracted human teeth with dental calculi on the enamel and cementum surfaces, fixed in 10% neutral formaldehyde, were selected for this study. After ethanol dehydration and air drying, these calculi were removed by tweezers to observe the teeth surfaces under them. The inspection of these surfaces using SEM and EDX revealed hexahedrally based crystals including pseudocuboidal, rhombohedral and variable rugged rocky shapes. These crystals were identified as Mg-containing whitlockite. The pseudocuboidal crystals, measuring about 4.5 μmin maximum length, were widely distributed on the cervical enamel surface previously covered by calculus. On the root surface, however, these areas decreased remakably; the shapes c hanged from pseudocubes into rhombohedrons and rugged rocky structures, while their sizes were smaller and the Mg content decreased. The difference in frequency and morphological variation of the hexahedrally based crystals might be caused by the different characteristics of enamel and cementum surfaces and the Mg present on these surfaces.

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