Abstract

Introduction: Fluoride-releasing restorative materials are available for remineralization of enamel and root caries. However, remineralization of dentin is more difficult than remineralization of enamel due to the paucity of apatite seed crystallites along the lesion surface for heterogeneous crystal growth. Extracellular matrix proteins play critical roles in controlling apatite nucleation/growth in collagenous tissues. Methods:  This study examined the remineralization efficacy of mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) in phosphate-containing simulated body fluid (SBF) by incorporating polyacrylic acid and sodium tripolyphosphate as biomimetic analogs of matrix proteins for remineralizing caries-like dentin. Artificial caries-like dentin lesions incubated in SBF were remineralized over a 6 week period using MTA alone or MTA containing biomimetic analogs in the absence or presence of dentin adhesive application. Lesion depths and integrated mineral loss were monitored with microcomputed tomography. The ultrastructure of baseline and remineralized lesions was examined by transmission electron microscopy. Results:  Dentin remineralization was best achieved using MTA containing biomimetic analogs regardless of whether an adhesive was applied; dentinal tubules within the remineralized dentin were occluded by apatite. Conclusion:  It is concluded that the version of MTA employed in this study may be doped with biomimetic analogs for remineralization of unbonded and bonded artificial caries-like lesions in the presence of SBF.  (Acta Biomaterialia 8 (2012) 836–842).