Topographical, diametral, and quantitative analysis of dentin tubules in the root canals of human and bovine teeth
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The aim of this study was to evaluate the number and the diameter of dentin tubules in root canals, in the cervical, middle, and apical thirds, of human and bovine teeth. Twenty-four single-rooted, human premolars were divided into four groups (n = 6): GH1, 10 to 15 years; GH2, 16 to 30 years; GH3, 31 to 45 years; and GH4, 46 to 80 years; and 24 bovine incisors were divided into four groups (n = 6): GB1, central; GB2, lateral first; GB3, lateral second; and GB4, lateral third. The crowns were removed from the specimens, which were then debrided, sectioned longitudinally in the vestibular-lingual direction, and submitted to ultrasonic cleaning. Scanning electron microscopic evaluations were made with 1,000x and 5,000x magnification. According to the root thirds, statistically significant differences were found both for the number and the diameter of dentin tubules, with the cervical third presenting the highest mean values for both specimen types. As regards the number of dentin tubules, it was observed that the bovine specimens presented a significantly higher mean value than the human specimens; this difference was not observed when the diameters of the two types were compared.