Mechanistic Observations on the Role of the Stannous Ion in Caries Lesion De- and Remineralization

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Two mechanistic, laboratory, factorial design studies were conducted to investigate the effect of the stannous ion (Sn2+) in the absence or presence of fluoride on caries lesion de- and remineralization. Study I was concerned with determining changes in mineral distribution of subsurface lesions, whereas study II investigated changes in surface hardness of surface-softened lesions as a function of pH. Study I showed that Sn2+ modulates the effects of fluoride by preventing lamination. Study II revealed that the effect of Sn2+ on rehardening is pH dependent. Neither study demonstrated synergy between Sn2+ and fluoride, yet interactions were observed. Sn2+ does interfere with remineralization to some extent although it provided acid resistance. The role of Sn2+ in the caries process is complex.

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