Characterization of dental interfaces with electron tomography
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Understanding the interface between dental materials and tooth is critical in the prevention of secondary caries. Assessing this interface with high-resolution clarity has traditionally been challenging. This work highlights electron tomography, carried out in the transmission electron microscope, as a novel technique to obtain both three-dimensional and nanometer scaled information on dental materials in contact with dentin. In this study, commercial calcium aluminate and glass ionomer based luting agents in contact with human dentin were prepared for electron microscopy via focused ion beam milling. Imaging with high-angle annular dark field provided compositional contrast, and combined with tilting over large angular ranges, enabled the reconstruction of the three-dimensional interface between tissue and cement. The characteristics of the interface were observed with this extra dimensionality and superior resolution, providing evidence for the viability of this technique in interfacial studies of dental materials.
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