An in vitro assessment and a pilot clinical study of electrical resistance of demineralized enamel. Academic Article uri icon


  • Electrical resistance measurement was evaluated in vitro and in vivo as a method for comparing the remineralizing performance of toothpastes. In the in vitro study, areas of sound enamel on 12 unrestored, mature, extracted human molars and bicuspids, with electrical resistance readings greater than 99.99 M omega, were demineralized to an electrical resistance of 1 to 4 M omega. The teeth were divided into three groups. The change in electrical resistance was measured following a 15 cycle regimen of treatment, demineralization and salivary soaking. Treatments were five-minute exposures to either a 1:2 slurry in saliva of Enamelon (E), a remineralizing fluoride-toothpaste also containing soluble calcium and phosphate ions, a 1:2 slurry in saliva of Crest (C), a conventional fluoride toothpaste (P), or to saliva alone. Demineralization was performed with a 30-minute exposure to 0.1 M lactic acid 50% saturated with calcium hydroxyapatite. The salivary soaking was 1 hour in duration. The mean electrical resistance of the E, C and the saliva treated sites was 63.9 +/- 4.3, 37.6 +/- 9.5 and 2.1 +/- 0.7 M omega, respectively. The final resistance was statistically different for each group (p < 0.05). A pilot clinical study was then conducted to assess the electrical resistance technology in vivo. Eighteen adult subjects with at least one site of early enamel caries with an electrical resistance between 1.0 M omega and 20.00 M omega were randomly assigned to either Enamelon, Crest, or a non-fluoride placebo toothpaste and asked to brush twice daily. After three months, the mean resistance of the test sites was 23.57 M omega for E, 9.61 M omega for C and 13.24 M omega for P. However, the mean resistance changes did not proceed consistently over time. At the end of the study, the electrical resistance measurements on four sites out of twelve in Group E were suggestive of remineralization, whereas measurements on one site out of ten were suggestive of remineralization in Group C and two or three sites out of twelve were suggestive of remineralization in Group P. Progression of demineralization was possibly indicated in only one site, which was in Group C. There were insufficient subjects for statistical significance in the pilot clinical study. There were apparent problems with the variability of some measurements between visits in the in vivo study. Overall, however, the results of both studies indicate that with modifications to the equipment, electrical resistance measurements may be a means of comparing the remineralization performance of toothpastes.

published proceedings

  • J Clin Dent

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Wolinsky, LE||Gnagne-Agnero, ND||Chamkasem, P||Jason, S||Triol, CW||Winston, AE

publication date

  • January 1999