Differences in the mineral concentration (MC) level of dental enamel may represent a precursor of white spot lesions adjacent to fixed orthodontic brackets. The aim of the current in vitro study was to compare the MC level central, occlusal and cervical to orthodontic attachments.
Methods and materials:
A total of 16 enamel blocks were obtained from sound human premolar samples extracted for orthodontic reasons. The buccal portion of the dental enamel blocks was divided into central, occlusal, and cervical regions and then imaged and measured to calculate the level of MC using quantitative X-ray microtomography methods (XMT) at each site.
There was a substantial variation in the mineral concentration with the lowest level being detected in the cervical region when compared with other regions. The MC of the gingival zone was significantly lower than that of the middle zone (P<0.05) and was insignificantly lower than that of the occlusal zone.
Within the limitations of the current study, it can be concluded that the cervical region of the permanent enamel had the lowest mineral concentration using XMT. The cervical region may therefore be more vulnerable to the development of white spot lesions (WSLs) adjacent to a fixed orthodontic appliance during orthodontic treatment.
Using X-ray microtomography lower mineral concentration in the cervical region of the enamel was observed. This may make these areas particularly susceptible to demineralisation during fixed appliance-based orthodontic treatment and may influence the bond strength of fixed orthodontic attachments.