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Vol. 69, No. 6
ISSN: 1488-2159
June 2003


A Pilot Investigation of Enamel Reduction Procedures


• P. Emile Rossouw, BSc, BChD, BChD (Hons), MChD (Ortho), PhD, FRCD(C) •
• Andrew Tortorella, BSc, DDS •

A b s t r a c t

Objective: To test and describe the use of various combinations of mechanical and chemical techniques for enamel reduction to obtain a smooth surface.

Methods: Bovine teeth (2 surfaces on each of 32 teeth) were used. The teeth were mounted in blocks of dental plaster, which were then mounted in a vise. The mesiodistal enamel contact areas were reduced by various combinations of mechanical and chemical aids. The mesiodistal width of each tooth was measured with a digital caliper after initial reduction of the enamel surface and again after polishing. The teeth were subsequently prepared and mounted for scanning electron microscopy.

Results: All combinations yielded statistically significant enamel reduction (p < 0.05). The use of acid stripping in conjunction with mechanical procedures produced especially smooth enamel surfaces.

Conclusions: Steps must be taken to ensure that a smooth enamel surface remains after enamel reduction and polishing. It is recommended that conventional enamel etchants be added to the polishing procedure. Enamel reduction can increase available space, but the quantity of enamel that can be removed without adverse consequences should be carefully evaluated.


MeSH Key Words: dental enamel/surgery; malocclusion/surgery; orthodontics, corrective/methods
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