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International Journal of Biomaterials
Volume 2009, Article ID 698547, 6 pages
Research Article

Crystal Structure Studies of Human Dental Apatite as a Function of Age

1Department of Physics and Center for Biological and Materials Physics, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA
2Department of Physics, National Technical University of Athens, 15780 Athens, Greece
3Department of Mineral Resources Engineering, Technical University of Crete, 73100 Chania, Greece

Received 5 October 2008; Revised 25 January 2009; Accepted 12 April 2009

Academic Editor: Chikara Ohtsuki

Copyright © 2009 Th. Leventouri et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Studies of the average crystal structure properties of human dental apatite as a function of age in the range of 5–87 years are reported. The crystallinity of the dental hydroxyapatite decreases with the age. The a-lattice constant that is associated with the carbonate content in carbonate apatite decreases with age in a systematic way, whereas the c-lattice constant does not change significantly. Thermogravimetric measurements demonstrate an increase of the carbonate content with the age. FTIR spectroscopy reveals both B and A-type carbonate substitutions with the B-type greater than the A-type substitution by a factor up to ~5. An increase of the carbonate content as a function of age can be deduced from the ratio of the 𝜈 2 C O 3 to the 𝜈 1 P O 4 IR modes.