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International Poster Journal of Dentistry and Oral Medicine



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Int Poster J Dent Oral Med 6 (2004), No. 4     15. Dec. 2004

Int Poster J Dent Oral Med 2004, Vol 6 No 04, Poster 246

Influence of Desensitizing Agents on Root Caries Development

Language: English

Dr. Christian Ralf Gernhardt,
Kristin Aschenbach, cand. med. dent.,
Prof. Dr. Hans-Günter Schaller,
Department of Operative Dentistry and Periodontology,
Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg

March, 12-15th, 2003
32nd Annual Meeting & Exhibition of the AADR
San Antonio/USA


Following the improved caries-prophylactic developments, tooth loss even in elderly patients is often avoidable. Therefore, it can be assumed that due to prophylactic treatment and the above mentioned factor the number of exposed and denuded dentin surfaces susceptible for dental caries and dentin hypersensitivity might increase in the future. To avoid these consequences, various prophylactic treatment possibilities are described. It is known that the application of fluoride or fluoride containing solution might prevent root caries development (1). Similar effects have been described after the application of dentin adhesive systems on exposed root surfaces building the acid resistant so-called hybrid layer (2). Furthermore, in the treatment of hypersensitive dentin surfaces numerous desensitizing agents are available. Former investigations have shown that dentin adhesives and other sealants can prevent root surface caries (3, 4).


The aim of the present study was to determine the caries-protective effect of two different desensitizing agents (Controcar, D/Sense 2) on root surfaces in vitro.

Material und Methods

The root surfaces of 30 freshly extracted caries-free human molars were thoroughly cleaned, thereby removing the cementum. The teeth were then coated with acid-resistant nail varnish, exposing two rectangular windows (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: Specimen coated with an acid resistant nail varnish exposing two retangular windows.

One window served as an untreated control, while the other window was treated with one of the desensitizing agents (Fig. 2a, b). All specimens were distributed among the following experimental groups: A: treated with Controcar; AA: untreated control; B: treated with D/Sense 2; BB: untreated control. All specimens were demineralized for 14 days with acidified gel (HEC, pH 4.8, 37 degrees C). From each tooth, two dentinal slabs were cut. The depth of the demineralized areas was determined using a polarized light microscope. For each group mean value and standard deviation were calculated. Statistical analysis was performed using ANOVA and Tukey's test.

Fig. 2: Desensitizing agent D/Sense 2 used in the present investigation.


All untreated specimens showed uniform lesions with a mean depth of 81 µm (± 17 µm) in group AA (Fig. 3, 5) and 77 µm (± 18 µm) in group BB (Fig. 3, 7). The specimens treated with Controcar showed a mean lesion depth of 2 µm (± 1.5 µm) (Fig. 3, 4). In group B, treated with D/Sense 2, a mean lesion depth of 45 µm (± 11 µm) was observed (Fig. 3, 6). In both groups (A, B) the lesion depth was reduced significantly compared to the untreated control groups (AA, BB) (p < 0.05, Tukey's test). The comparison between group A and B showed a significant higher reduction of lesion depth in the case of Controcar (group A) (p < 0.05, Tukey's test).

  Group A
Group AA
Control group
Group B
D/Sense 2
Group BB
Control group
Lesion depth (microns) 2 81 45 77
Standard deviation ± 1.5 ± 17 ± 11 ± 18
Tab. 1: Mean value and standard deviation within the different groups.

Fig. 3: Mean value and standard deviation within the different groups.

Fig. 4: Group A, treated with Controacar, red I, 100x. Fig. 5: Control group AA, red I, 100x.

Fig. 6: Group B, treated with D/Sense 2, red I, 100x. Fig. 7: Control group BB, red I, 100x.

Discussion and Conclusions

It can be concluded that the demineralization of the root surface can be hampered by the application of desensitizing agents in vitro. In the case of Controcar the reduction of lesion depth was 97.5%. The specimens treated with D/Sense 2 showed lesion depth reduced to 41.6%.


  1. Almqvist H, Lagerlöf F (1993) Effect of intermittent delivery of fuoride to solution on root hard-tissue de- and remineralization measured by 125I absorptiometry. J Dent Res 72: 1593-1598.
  2. Nakabayashi N, Nakamura M, Yasuda N (1991) Hybrid layer as a dentin-bonding mechanism. J Esthet Dent 3: 133-138.
  3. Grogono A, Mayo J (1994) Prevention of root caries with dentin adhesives. J Am Dent 7: 89-90.
  4. Hahn P, Schaller H-G, Gernhardt C, Hellwig E (1999) Influence of two dentin bonding systems on the demineralization of the root surface. Oper Dent 24: 344-350.

This poster was submitted by Dr. Christian Gernhardt.

Correspondence address:
Dr. Christian Gernhardt
Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg
University School for Dental Medicine
Department of Operative Dentistry and Periodontology
Grosse Steinstrasse 19
06108 Halle