A microradiographic-microphotometric and polarized-light study of the demineralization pattern in carious lesions

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The pattern of demineralization in incipient and advanced carious lesions in the enamel of deciduous and permanent teeth was studied in hand-lapped planoparallel ground sections by microradiographic-microphotometric and polarized-light procedures. Polarized-light and microradiographic examination revealed that incipient carious lesions had a higher mineral content at the outer surface as compared to underlying enamel, the latter having varying degrees of demineralization in different areas. There was no indication of hypercalcified areas. The progress of the lesion along the striae of Retzius and the interprismatic substance was disclosed. From without inward, the main body of the lesion, the dark zone, and the translucent zone could be identified. In some cases there appeared to be an additional translucent zone within the central part of the lesion. Comparison of densitometric tracings of microradiographs and intrinsic retardation measurements showed greatest demineralization in the dark zone and minimal demineralization in the translucent zone. A similarity was found between carious lesions in deciduous and permanent teeth. © 1965.

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