Effect of different irrigation solutions on the Knoop surface microhardness of artificial teeth

Abstract Introduction Artificial teeth have been used for preclinical teaching practice. However, the behavior of the same is not known in relation to the different procedures performed during a simulated endodontic treatment. Objective To evaluate the microhardness of replicates of human teeth, in front of different irrigating solutions. Material and method Forty-five artificial upper central incisors of three national trade marks (teeth “A”, “B” and “C”) and fifteen human incisors were used. Samples were sectioned 5 mm from the apex. The root fragments were fixed in resin for later microhardness test. The Knoop microhardness tests were performed in two moments: moment 1 - initial microhardness; moment 2 - final microhardness, which was done after the use of the irrigating solutions (0.9% sodium chloride, 2.5% sodium hypochlorite and 2% chlorhexidine gluconate). The indentations left on the sample surface were measured. The obtained value for microhardness of each sample was made based on the average of three indentations. ANOVA and Paired t-test were used for statistical analysis. Significance level of 5%. Result Artificial teeth “A” and “C” presented lower values of microhardness when compared to human teeth (P = 0.05). There was no statistical difference between the artificial teeth “B” for the human (P = 0.2428). Regarding the use of different irrigation solutions, there was also no difference in the microhardness of dental pieces. Conclusion Although the irrigating solution did not influence the microhardness, the artificial teeth presented values of hardness inferior to the human tooth.