Changes in the physical properties of human premolar cementum after application of 4 weeks of controlled orthodontic forces

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This study was performed to assess the relationship between the magnitude of orthodontic force and physical properties of individual human cementum, and to identify the sites that may be predisposed to root resorption. The findings may assist in relating physical properties of dental root cementum and its susceptibility to root resorption.

Sixteen maxillary first premolar teeth were selected in eight orthodontic patients (three males and five females), mean age 14.8 years (range 11.2–17.5 years), requiring first premolar extractions. In each patient, a light orthodontic force of 25 cN was applied buccally using a sectional archwire on the first premolar on one side, while a heavy force of 225 cN was applied to the contralateral side. The teeth were extracted 4 weeks after initial force application. Hardness and elastic modulus were measured on the buccal and the lingual surfaces of the cementum at the cervical, middle, and apical third of the root.

The results showed that the mean hardness and elastic modulus of cementum in the light force group were greater than in the heavy force group at all positions. There were highly significant differences in both hardness and elastic modulus between the heavy and light force groups (P < 0.01). The mean hardness and elastic modulus of cementum gradually decreased from the cervical to the apical regions for buccal as well as lingual surfaces in both groups. There was, however, an insignificant difference between hardness and elastic modulus on the buccal surface compared with the lingual surface (P < 0.05). It was concluded that the hardness and elastic modulus of cementum were affected by the application of orthodontics forces.

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