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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 746383, 9 pages
Research Article

Surface Enamel Remineralization: Biomimetic Apatite Nanocrystals and Fluoride Ions Different Effects

1Department of Chemistry “G. Ciamician”, University of Bologna, Via Selmi 2, 40126 Bologna, Italy
2Department of Medical Sciences, University of Eastern Piedmont “Amedeo Avogadro”, Via Solaroli 17, 28100 Novara, Italy
3Department of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, University of Milano, Via Golgi 19, 20133 Milano, Italy

Received 13 October 2008; Accepted 22 January 2009

Academic Editor: Alan K. T. Lau

Copyright © 2009 Norberto Roveri 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.


A new method for altered enamel surface remineralization has been proposed. To this aim carbonate-hydroxyapatite nanocrystals which mimic for composition, structure, nanodimensions, and morphology dentine apatite crystals and resemble closely natural apatite chemical-physical properties have been used. The results underline the differences induced by the use of fluoride ions and hydroxyapatite nanocrystals in contrasting the mechanical abrasions and acid attacks to which tooth enamel is exposed. Fluoride ions generate a surface modification of the natural enamel apatite crystals increasing their crystallinity degree and relative mechanical and acid resistance. On the other hand, the remineralization produced by carbonate-hydroxyapatite consists in a deposition of a new apatitic mineral into the eroded enamel surface scratches. A new biomimetic mineral coating, which progressively fills and shadows surface scratches, covers and safeguards the enamel structure by contrasting the acid and bacteria attacks.