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19 June 2020
Caries at the earliest stage causes pathological changes not only in the affected tooth enamel, but also in the adjacent structures without visually discernible changes. This conclusion was reached by scientists of Don State Technical University during the study of dental tissuesmechanical and density characteristics. The results of scientific research will be the starting point for development of new methods for diagnosing caries.
The research team of DSTU, led by Professor of the University of Sydney Michael Swain, head of DSTU Laboratory of Biocompatible Materials Mechanics, conducted a comprehensive study of healthy maxillary molar teeth with a clearly visible affected area - at the white spot stage.
Combining methods of electron microscopy, x-ray microtomography, atomic force microscopy, nanoindentation and spectrometry, scientists tracked how the mechanical behavior of solid tissues is affected by chemical composition, volume structure and liquid saturation.
As a result of research, it found out that caries in the white spot stage causes serious changes not only in the visually affected enamel, but also in the visually intact enamel and dentin.

– We have established patterns of changes in mechanical and density characteristics of dental tissue in carious disease. These results are extremely important for dentistry and can become a foundation for the development of new methods and devices for diagnosing caries at an earlier stage, – said Boris Mitrin, senior researcher of DSTU Laboratory of Biocompatible Materials Mechanics.

– A comprehensive study of the mechanical behavior of materials and tissues is an extremely relevant topic for restorative dentistry, today there is a high demand for biocompatible materials in the oral cavity. DSTU scientists presented their results at an international conference in Prague (Czech Republic) and Hamburg (Germany), that allowed us to internationalize our research. Recognition at such a high level once again proves that the outside world is interested in our work, –said Michael Swain.
Now scientists have begun to study the mechanical properties of a tooth affected by caries in a deeper stage – the brown spot stage. In the future, results can be used to create biocompatible materials necessary for dental prosthetics.