Deposition of an acid-resistant barrier onto enamel represents a potentially superior means for delivering protection against dietary, erosive acid challenges.
The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the ability of a stabilised stannous fluoride (SnF2) dentifrice to: (1) deposit a SnF2 barrier layer onto pellicle-coated enamel surfaces; (2) increase the intensity of the barrier layer over time; and (3) be retained on the enamel surface for hours after product use.
Squares of human enamel were exposed to pooled saliva for 1 hour (pellicle formation) and separated into six sets. Set 1 was treated with the supernatant of a 1:3 slurry of the test dentifrice (Crest® Pro-Health®: water for 2 minutes), then rinsed. Set 2 was treated in the same manner and then placed into saliva (6 hours). Set 3 was cycled through seven repeated treatments. Set 4 was treated for seven cycles and then placed into saliva (6 hours). Set 5 was a water control, and set 6 was a water control that remained in saliva for 6 hours. Surface analysis of specimens was done using laser ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS).
Deposition of a barrier layer was demonstrated, beginning with the initial treatment, with Sn (using isotopes 117Sn + 120Sn) measured on the enamel surface as the reference marker. Deposition of the barrier layer was greater after seven cycles, and the retention of this layer was highly significant (P = 0.05, anova: 6 hours).
This study confirms that: (1) the stabilised SnF2 dentifrice deposits a barrier layer onto the enamel surface, beginning with the first use of the product; (2) this barrier is enhanced following multiple treatments; and (3) the barrier layer is retained on the enamel surface for hours after product use.