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Visualisation of micropore structure in human dental enamel


DENTAL enamel has an internal void volume of 0.2–5%1–3. The direct observation of pores in enamel, however, has been hindered by inadequate specimen preparation techniques. The harsh chemical treatment necessary to partially demineralise enamel prior to embedding and sectioning, and the chatter and shattering effects which result from cutting hard tissues, create artefactual spaces in enamel which make it virtually impossible to identify and define any natural spaces present. Attempts to cut enamel which has not been demineralised produce even greater shatter and destruction of the natural structure.

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ORAMS, H., PHAKEY, P., RACHINGER, W. et al. Visualisation of micropore structure in human dental enamel. Nature 252, 584–585 (1974).

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