Elzbieta Klimuszko,1 Karolina Orywal,2 Teresa Sierpinska,1 Jarosław Sidun,3 Maria Golebiewska1
1 – Department of Prosthetic Dentistry, Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland;
2 – Laboratory of Biochemical Diagnostics Department, Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland;
3 – Department of Materials Science and Biomedical Engineering, Bialystok University of Technology, Bialystok, Poland
Objectives: The objectives of the study were to evaluate the content of copper and zinc in individual layers of tooth enamel and to analyze the relationships between the study minerals in individual layers of tooth enamel.
Patients and methods: Fifteen human permanent teeth were cut off every 150 µm alongside the labial surface. Acid biopsy of each layer was performed. The zinc content was determined using the air–acetylene flame method. The copper content was determined using the electrothermal technique with argon.
Results: The mean zinc concentrations increased significantly starting from the outer enamel surface, with the maximum concentration in the 150–300 µm layer. The mean copper concentrations increased substantially from the outer enamel surface to a depth of 150 µm, and then a slight downward trend of this mineral levels was seen, down to a depth of 450 µm. Strong positive correlation was found between the zinc and copper concentrations at depths of 150–300, 450–600 and 600–750 µm.
Conclusion: The levels of zinc and copper in the outer enamel layers may have an effect on the increased content of unipolar minerals at deeper enamel layers. The content of the study elements determined may reflect the process of mineralization and maturation of enamel in the pre-eruption period.