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MINERVA STOMATOLOGICA

A Journal on Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Odontostomatology and Maxillofacial Surgery
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Minerva Stomatologica 1999 January-February;48(1-2):1-8

language: English, Italian

Extent of the odontoblastic process. Analysis by SEM and confocal microscopy

Goracci G., Mori G., Marci F., Baldi M.


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Background. Towards the middle of the eighteenth century, Tomes described membranous structures of cellular origin inside the dentinal tubules. Subsequent studies of the terminal segment of the odontoblasts have been controversial. According to Fusayama, this cellular process reaches as far as the junction; others, including Brännström, affirm that this process is present only in the inner third of the dentin.
Aims. The aim of the present study was to verify the exact length of the odontoblastic terminal segment with the aid of advanced confocal microscopy (CLSM) and high resolution field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM).
Methods. Premolars due for extraction for orthodontic reasons, were used for this study; vestibular class V cavities about 2 mm in diameter and 3 mm in depth prepared and subsequently filled with IRM (Caulk Dentsply). All teeth were extracted after four weeks fixed and prepared for examination under SEM and CLSM.
Results. CLSM revealed cylindrical structures inside the tubules even in the absence of odontoblasts. SEM evidenced the presence tubular structures only in the inner third of the dentin (towards the pulp).Conclusions. Structures previously described as cellular processes can be identified as the lamina limitans of the peritubular dentin.

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