Chulalongkorn University Dental Journal

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Objective This study investigated patterns of tooth deformation in response to immersion in hot and cold water, and attempted to correlate the measured dimensional change with calculated values based on coefficients of thermal expansion. Materials and methods The extent of cuspal deformation and strains within dentine were assessed in extracted human molars, in response to immersion in hot and cold water. Cuspal displacement was measured using an extensometer attached to the buccal and lingual cusps, and strains on the pulpal dentine surface were measured using strain gauges attached to the occlusal pulpal surface. Temperature change was monitored with thermocouples. Tooth crowns were immersed in hot (80°C) or cold (2°C) water for 5 seconds Results Cuspal displacement and dentinal strain were greater, and occurred more rapidly, in response to heat than to cold. Thermal strain was detected on the pulpal surface of dentine before any temperature change occurred, and was much greater than calculated values based on thermal expansion or contraction alone. Conclusion Patterns of deformation of the tooth crown are complex, and involve not only thermal expansion/contraction but also tooth flexure resulting from temperature gradients across tooth structure.



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