Novel Confocal-Laser-Scanning-Microscopy and conventional measures investigating eroded dentine following dentifrice dab-on and brushing abrasion

Ryan C. Olley (Lead / Corresponding author), Sana Alhaij, Basim M. Mohsen, Paul L. Appleton, R. Graham Chadwick, Graeme Ball

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: To validate novel non-contacting Confocal-Laser-Scanning-Microscopy (CLSM) methodology with conventional Contacting Profilometry (CP) measures investigating brushing or dab-on of stannous-fluoride dentifrice on early aggressive dentine erosion.

Methods: 75 polished human dentine samples were prepared and eroded in agitated 6% citric acid then randomly allocated into 5 intervention groups; artificial saliva control (1); controlled use of a pressure sensitive counter-rotating oscillatory powered toothbrush with sodium-fluoride NaF (2) or stannous-fluoride SnF2 (3), and dab-on application of NaF (4) or SnF2 (5). Samples underwent three cycles of intervention and 2-min agitated 6 % citric acid challenges. CLSM images were taken and 3D reconstructions produced of step height using a developed software algorithm. In addition, 20 % samples were randomised and profiled using CP to measure step height and surface roughness. Vickers's diamond micro-hardness testing was carried out on all samples.

Results: Comparing CLSM and CP; Pearson correlation was 0.77 and Intra-class correlation 0.81 (p = 0.01). There were no significant statistical differences in step height between groups using both CLSM and CP. From baseline, SnF2 brushing (3) increased micro-hardness more than control (1) (p = 0.03), NaF (4) and SnF2 dab-on (5) (p ≤ 0.001), and increased surface roughness more than control (p = 0.02), NaF brushing (2) and NaF dab-on (4) (p ≤ 0.017). Dab-on of SnF2 (5) produced rougher surfaces than control (1) (p = 0.014) and reduced hardness compared with NaF brushing (p = 0.04).

Conclusions: Good agreement and correlation exists between CLSM and CP measures in dentine. There were no significant differences in surface loss after interventions between groups. Compared with control, SnF2 application increased dentine surface roughness and SnF2 controlled powered brushing application increased dentine hardness, likely caused by exposure of uneroded dentine.

Clinical significance: Isosurfaces produced using CLSM can be used to represent dentine step height loss. They show good correlation and agreement with conventional CP measures, following early aggressive erosion-abrasion cycles of dentine. The CLSM and computer algorithm therefore provides an accurate, standalone and non-contacting three-dimensional measurement of early dentine wear. Stannous-fluoride brushing, and dab-on application offer no benefits following early aggressive erosion in dentine. To reduce dentine wear, limiting erosive challenges and avoiding brushing post-erosion is advised.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere03282
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Early online date2 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Abrasion
  • Applied computing in medical science
  • Biocomputational method
  • Biophysics
  • Dab-on
  • Dental materials
  • Dentifrice
  • Dentine-wear
  • Dentistry
  • Erosion
  • Mathematical biosciences
  • Measurement
  • Medical imaging
  • Prosthetic dentistry
  • Software engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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