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A Comparative Study of the Smear Layer Removal Using Scanning Electronic Microscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy

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Data obtained by two different imaging techniques, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), were compared for their ability to detect smear layer on the dentin surface. Three solutions commonly employed for smear layer removal were used: 17% EDTA, 10% citric acid and 37% phosphoric acid. The same samples were evaluated by AFM and SEM to determine similarity or differences between the techniques. When AFM images were analyzed, more smear layer and less opening tubules were observed compared to SEM images. AFM phase contrast images were also analyzed. The results indicated that AFM topographic analysis as well as phase contrast images were by far the best methods to detect the presence of smear layer compared to SEM.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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  • Journal of Advanced Microscopy Research (JAMR) provides a forum for rapid dissemination of important developments in high-resolution microscopy techniques to image, characterize and analyze man-made and natural samples; to study physicochemical phenomena such as abrasion, adhesion, corrosion and friction; to perform micro and nanofabrication, lithography, patterning, micro and nanomanipulation; theory and modeling, as well as their applications in all areas of science, engineering, and medicine.
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