Protective effects of SnF2 – Part III. Mechanism of barrier layer attachment




To assess the ability of various fluoride salts to protect enamel against acid attack via a barrier mechanism.


Extracted human enamel specimens were cleaned and rinsed, then soaked in pooled human saliva for 1 hour to initiate formation of an early pellicle. Groups of three specimens each were etched for 10 minutes in 1% citric acid (pH 2.3), treated in a 1:3 slurry of dentifrice [1,100 ppm F as stannous fluoride (SnF2), 1,100 ppm F as sodium fluoride (NaF), 1,000 ppm F as sodium monofluorophosphate (SMFP), or 1,400 ppm F as amine fluoride (AmF)] and saliva for 2 minutes, exposed to 2% alizarin red-S (a calcium-selective dye) and rinsed again. The relative ability of each test product to deposit a barrier layer on the enamel surface was measured by its ability to protect against attachment of the calcium-selective dye.


Specimens treated with the SnF2 dentifrice showed the least dye attachment, indicating a high level of surface protection. On a five-point scale, with 0 being no dye deposition (100% protection) and four being complete dye coverage (0% protection), the SnF2-treated specimens scored an average of 0.25, with NaF scoring 3.4, SMFP scoring 3.4 and AmF scoring 3.7. Protection of the enamel surface was significantly higher for the SnF2 product than for the other products (< 0.05), with no significant differences among the other three F salts.


These results demonstrate that after an aggressive acid challenge, SnF2 deposits a barrier layer onto the pellicle-coated enamel surface, and the barrier layer which attaches onto acid challenged tooth surfaces is different from any that might be provided by treatment with the other fluoride compounds tested.