This paper deals with the influence of (1) the pH, (2) the degree of saturation with respect to hydroxylapatite (OHA) and (3) the fluoride concentration of demineralizing buffer solutions on the development of surface layers of artificial carious lesions. The pH did not affect the surface layer during demineralization. With increasing saturation with respect to OHA, the mineral content of the surface layer increased and the gradient of mineral content at the inside of the surface layer became less negative. The effect of the fluoride concentration depended on the degree of saturation of the solution with respect to OHA. At the highest undersaturation used in this study (pIoha126) an increase of the fluoride concentration caused an increase of the mineral content of the surface layer, an unchanged gradient in mineral content at the inside of the surface layer, and an increased intercept of this gradient. At low undersaturation with respect to OHA (pIoha122) an increasing fluoride concentration caused a less negative gradient. An explanation for the results is given on the basis of the driving forces for dissolution of enamel mineral and reprecipitation of less soluble mineral. It is concluded that the degree of saturation with respect to fluorapatite and the fluoride concentration are factors determining the development of the surface layer.

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