The objectives of the study were to quantify the dentine mineral concentration (DMC) in teeth restored conventionally, according to the atraumatic restorative treatment (ART) and ultraconservative (UCT) protocols (open cavities and small ART restorations), and the DMC underneath the open cavities of teeth managed by UCT versus nontreated, open cavities. We studied 50 teeth with restorations/open cavities, 39 restored teeth (9 by conventional restorative treatment [CRT], 17 by ART, and 13 by UCT) and 16 teeth with open cavities. Each restoration/open cavity was scanned using microcomputed tomography, with 3 hydroxyapatite disks with respective densities of 1.24, 1.33, and 1.57 g/cm3 as a reference. Images were reconstructed and the greyscale images were converted into DMC values. For each restoration/open cavity, 15 measurements of dentine immediately underneath and from the corresponding area in sound dentine were taken. DMC was expressed as a percentage of the DMC of sound dentine. ANOVA and the Student t test were used for statistical analysis. The mean DMC underneath restorations of the ART protocol group (98.93%) was statistically significantly higher than that of the UCT protocol group (91.98%), but not of the CRT protocol group (91.33%). On multiple surfaces, mean DMC in the axial area (94.32%) was statistically significantly higher than in the gingival area (92.80%). The mean DMC of open cavities managed by UCT protocol (89.05%) was statistically significantly higher than in nontreated open cavities (83.90%). In conclusion, a dentine-hypermineralized area underneath ART restorations was observed. Managing open cavities with a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste (the UCT protocol) resulted in higher mineralized dentine underneath the cavity than in nontreated open cavities.

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