Confocal Raman microspectrometry allows a thorough molecular analysis of mineralised dental tissues. The output information is provided in the form of curves representing the intensity of the signal according to the frequency, and its mathematical exploitation permits all sorts of comparative and quantitative analyses. By this process, we investigated the in vitro action of lactic acid on enamel and dentin from human permanent teeth. Modifications due to the acidic attack essentially concern phosphate grouping PO43–, which represents the mineral phase in enamel and dentin (hydroxyapatite): on Raman spectra, changes in intensity of the PO43– band are linked to the type of dentin, to its anatomical location, and to the age of the subject. The variability of the dentinal chemical structure was confirmed by a quantitative statistical analysis, revealing a significant spectral difference between coronal and root dentin.

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