The ability to infiltrate various molecules and resins into dental enamel is highly desirable in dentistry, yet transporting materials into dental enamel is limited by the nanometric scale of their pores. Materials that cannot be infiltrated into enamel by diffusion/capillarity are often considered molecules with sizes above a critical threshold, which are often considered to be larger than the pores of enamel. We challenge this notion by reporting the use of electrokinetic flow to transport solutions with molecules with sizes above a critical threshold--namely, an aqueous solution with a high refractive index (Thoulet's solution) and a curable fluid resin infiltrant (without acid etching)--deep into the normal enamel layer. Volume infiltration by Thoulet's solution is increased by 5- to 6-fold, and resin infiltration depths as large as 600 to 2000 μm were achieved, in contrast to ~10 μm resulting from diffusion/capillarity. Incubation with demineralization solution for 192 h resulted in significant demineralization at noninfiltrated histologic points but not at resin infiltrated. These results open new avenues for the transport of materials in dental enamel.
Gan, H. Y., F. B. Sousa, H. L. Carlo, P. P. Maciel, M. S. Macena, J. Han
Journal of Dental Research