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      Mapping of the Micro-Mechanical Properties of Human Root Dentin by Means of Microindentation


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          The extensive knowledge of root dentin’s mechanical properties is necessary for the prediction of microstructural alterations and the teeth’s deformations as well as their fracture behavior. Standardized microindentation tests were applied to apical, medial, and cervical root sections of a mandibular human first molar to determine the spatial distribution of the hard tissue’s properties (indentation modulus, indentation hardness, Martens hardness, indentation creep). Using an indentation mapping approach, the inhomogeneity of mechanical properties in longitudinal as well as in transversal directions were measured. As a result, the tooth showed strongly inhomogeneous material properties, which depended on the longitudinal and transversal positions. In the transversal cutting planes of the cervical, medial, apical sections, the properties showed a comparable distribution. A statistical evaluation revealed an indentation modulus between 12.2 GPa and 17.8 GPa, indentation hardness between 0.4 GPa and 0.64 GPa and an indentation creep between 8.6% and 10.7%. The established standardized method is a starting point for further investigations concerning the intensive description of the inhomogeneous mechanical properties of human dentin and other types of dentin.

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          Nanoindentation mapping of the mechanical properties of human molar tooth enamel.

          The mechanical behavior of dental enamel has been the subject of many investigations. Initial studies assumed that it was a more or less homogeneous material with uniform mechanical properties. Now it is generally recognized that the mechanical response of enamel depends upon location, chemical composition, and prism orientation. This study used nanoindentation to map out the properties of dental enamel over the axial cross-section of a maxillary second molar (M(2)). Local variations in mechanical characteristics were correlated with changes in chemical content and microstructure across the entire depth and span of a sample. Microprobe techniques were used to examine changes in chemical composition and scanning electron microscopy was used to examine the microstructure. The range of hardness (H) and Young's modulus (E) observed over an individual tooth was found to be far greater than previously reported. At the enamel surface H>6GPa and E>115GPa, while at the enamel-dentine junction H<3GPa and E<70GPa. These variations corresponded to the changes in chemistry, microstructure, and prism alignment but showed the strongest correlations with changes in the average chemistry of enamel. For example, the concentrations of the constituents of hydroxyapatite (P(2)O(5) and CaO) were highest at the hard occlusal surface and decreased on moving toward the softer enamel-dentine junction. Na(2)O and MgO showed the opposite trend. The mechanical properties of the enamel were also found to differ from the lingual to the buccal side of the molar. At the occlusal surface the enamel was harder and stiffer on the lingual side than on the buccal side. The interior enamel, however, was softer and more compliant on the lingual than on the buccal side, a variation that also correlated with differences in average chemistry and might be related to differences in function.
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            Indentation damage and mechanical properties of human enamel and dentin.

            Understanding the mechanical properties of human teeth is important to clinical tooth preparation and to the development of "tooth-like" restorative materials. Previous studies have focused on the macroscopic fracture behavior of enamel and dentin. In the present study, we performed indentation studies to understand the microfracture and deformation and the microcrack-microstructure interactions of teeth. It was hypothesized that crack propagation would be influenced by enamel rods and the dentino-enamel junction (DEJ), and the mechanical properties would be influenced by enamel rod orientation and tooth-to-tooth variation. Twenty-eight human third molars were used for the measurement of hardness, fracture toughness, elastic modulus, and energy absorbed during indentation. We examined the effect of enamel rod orientation by propagating cracks in the occlusal surface, and in the axial section in directions parallel and perpendicular to the occlusal surface. The results showed that the cracks in the enamel axial section were significantly longer in the direction perpendicular to the occlusal surface than parallel. The cracks propagating toward the DEJ were always arrested and unable to penetrate dentin. The fracture toughness of enamel was not single-valued but varied by a factor of three as a function of enamel rod orientation. The elastic modulus of enamel showed a significant difference between the occlusal surface and the axial section. It is concluded that the cracks strongly interact with the DEJ and the enamel rods, and that the mechanical properties of teeth are functions of microstructural orientations; hence, single values of properties (e.g., a single toughness value or a single modulus value) should not be used without information on microstructural orientation.
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              The mechanical properties of human dentin: a critical review and re-evaluation of the dental literature.

              The past 50 years of research on the mechanical properties of human dentin are reviewed. Since the body of work in this field is highly inconsistent, it was often necessary to re-analyze prior studies, when possible, and to re-assess them within the framework of composite mechanics and dentin structure. A critical re-evaluation of the literature indicates that the magnitudes of the elastic constants of dentin must be revised considerably upward. The Young's and shear moduli lie between 20-25 GPa and 7-10 GPa, respectively. Viscoelastic behavior (time-dependent stress relaxation) measurably reduces these values at strain rates of physiological relevance; the reduced modulus (infinite relaxation time) is about 12 GPa. Furthermore, it appears as if the elastic properties are anisotropic (not the same in all directions); sonic methods detect hexagonal anisotropy, although its magnitude appears to be small. Strength data are re-interpreted within the framework of the Weibull distribution function. The large coefficients of variation cited in all strength studies can then be understood in terms of a distribution of flaws within the dentin specimens. The apparent size-effect in the tensile and shear strength data has its origins in this flaw distribution, and can be quantified by the Weibull analysis. Finally, the relatively few fracture mechanics and fatigue studies are discussed. Dentin has a fatigue limit. For stresses smaller than the normal stresses of mastication, approximately 30 MPa, a flaw-free dentin specimen apparently will not fail. However, a more conservative approach based on fatigue crack growth rates indicates that if there is a pre-existing flaw of sufficient size (approximately 0.3-1.0 mm), it can grow to catastrophic proportion with cyclic loading at stresses below 30 MPa.

                Author and article information

                Role: Academic Editor
                Materials (Basel)
                Materials (Basel)
                21 January 2021
                February 2021
                : 14
                : 3
                [1 ]Institute of Lightweight Engineering and Polymer Technology (ILK), Technische Universität Dresden, Holbeinstraße 3, 01307 Dresden, Germany; michael.kucher@ 123456tu-dresden.de (M.K.); niels.modler@ 123456tu-dresden.de (N.M.)
                [2 ]Clinic of Operative and Pediatric Dentistry, Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Fetscherstraße 74, 01307 Dresden, Germany; romy.bernhard@ 123456mailbox.tu-dresden.de (M.R.B.); christian.hannig@ 123456uniklinikum-dresden.de (C.H.); marie-theres.weber@ 123456uniklinikum-dresden.de (M.-T.W.)
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: martin.dannemann@ 123456tu-dresden.de ; Tel.: +49-351-463-38134
                © 2021 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


                creep,human root dentin,indentation elastic modulus,mapping,martens hardness,microindentation,vickers hardness


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