• Tooth;
  • enamel;
  • demineralization;
  • fluoride;
  • preventive dentistry


Background:  This study aimed to investigate the effect of silver and fluoride ions on demineralization of enamel.

Methods:  The coronal parts of 40 extracted sound premolars were prepared into tooth blocks. An unvarnished occlusal surface window (OW) and a flat buccal/lingual surface window (FW) were created for each tooth by covering all other surfaces with an acid-resistant varnish. These blocks were randomly allocated into four groups of 10 blocks each and immersed in respective solutions for 5 minutes: Group 1 – 2.36 M silver fluoride; Group 2 – 2.36 M potassium fluoride; Group 3 – 2.36 M silver nitrate; and Group 4 – deionized water. After 7-day immersion in a buffered demineralization solution at pH 4.4, micro-CT scans were taken.

Results:  Mean lesion depth in the FW area for tooth blocks in AgF, KF, AgNO3 and control groups were 0 μm, 3.3 ± 10.3 μm, 156.3 ± 30.8 μm, and 173.6 ± 48.6 μm, respectively (p < 0.001). The difference in mean lesion depth between the AgNO3 and control groups was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). Similar OW and FW lesions were observed in tooth blocks in the AgNO3 and control groups.

Conclusions:  Topical application of a 2.36 M fluoride solution can inhibit demineralization of enamel while topical application of silver ions has little effect.