The Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice

Register      Login



Volume / Issue

Online First

Related articles

VOLUME 10 , ISSUE 1 ( January, 2009 ) > List of Articles


Surface Roughness and Enamel Loss with Two Microabrasion Techniques

Flávio Fernando Demarco, Sonia Saeger Meireles, Dárvi de Almeida André, Ferdinan Luís Leida, Jorge Saldivar Bocangel

Citation Information : Demarco FF, Meireles SS, de Almeida André D, Leida FL, Bocangel JS. Surface Roughness and Enamel Loss with Two Microabrasion Techniques. J Contemp Dent Pract 2009; 10 (1):58-65.

DOI: 10.5005/jcdp-10-1-58

License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Published Online: 01-12-2010

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2009; The Author(s).



The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the surface roughness and enamel loss produced by two microabrasion techniques.

Methods and Materials

Bovine teeth were selected and an area was delimited for microabrasion techniques. Surface roughness was determined before and after treatment using a digital profilometer. Specimens were randomized to one of two acid treatments (n=10): 18% hydrochloric acid (HCl) and pumice or 37% phosphoric acid (H3PO4) and pumice. Acid treatments were applied using a wooden spatula for 5 seconds for a total of ten applications. Then, specimens were sectioned through the center of the demineralization area to obtain 80μm thick slices. The wear produced by the microabrasion techniques was evaluated using stereomicroscopy (40x). The greatest depth (μm) and the total surface area (μm2) of demineralization were measured using the Image Tool software (University of Texas Health Science, San Antonio, TX, USA). In addition, three specimens of each group were subjected to SEM analysis at different magnifications.


The mean surface roughness was statistically lower for HCl than for H3PO4 (p<0.001). Deeper demineralization (p<0.003) and a larger total demineralization area was observed for HCl (p<0.005). Under SEM analysis H3PO4 showed a selective conditioning etching, while HCl exhibited a non-selective pattern.


Microabrasion using H3PO4 produced greater surface roughness but less demineralization than the microabrasion technique using HCl.

Clinical Significance

Both microabrasion techniques effectively remove the superficial enamel layer. However, the technique using H3PO4 was less aggressive, safer, and easier to perform.


Meireles SS, André DA, Leida FL, Bocangel JS, Demarco FF. Surface Roughness and Enamel Loss with Two Microabrasion Techniques. J Contemp Dent Pract 2009 January; (10)1:058-065.

PDF Share
  1. An evaluation of a technique to remove stains from teeth using microabrasion. J Am Dent Assoc 2003; 134:1066-71.
  2. Enamel microabrasion: observations after 10 years. J Am Dent Assoc 1997;128 Suppl:45S-50S.
  3. Enamel color modification by controlled hydrochloric acid-pumice abrasion. I. Technique and examples. Quintessence Int 1986; 17:157-63.
  4. Enamel microabrasion: a microscopic evaluation of the “abrasion effect”. Quintessence Int 1992; 23:175-9.
  5. Microabrasion of teeth with discoloration resembling hypomaturation enamel defects: four-year follow up. J Clin Pediatr Dent 2000: 25(1):29-34.
  6. Tooth color improvement for children and teens: enamel microabrasion and dental bleaching. ASDC J Dent Child 1996; 63(1):17-22.
  7. Rotary reduction, enamel microabrasion, and dental bleaching for tooth color improvement. Compend Contin Educ Dent 1998 Jan; 19(1):62-7.
  8. Enamel microabrasion: new considerations in 1993. Pract periodontics Aesthet Dent 1993; 5(8):19-28.
  9. Effects of acid etching on dentin surface: SEM morphological study. Braz Dent J 1997:8(1):35-41.
  10. Polarized and transmitted light microscopic study of enamel after microabrasion. Quintessence Int 1995; 26(1):57-61.
  11. Avaliação da quantidade de desgaste do esmalte dentário submetido a microabrasão. Rev Odontol Univ Sao Paulo 1999; 7(1/2):35-40.
  12. The effects of microabrasion on demineralization inhibition of enamel surfaces. Quintessence Int 1997; 28(7):463-6.
  13. The effects of etching, micro-abrasion, and bleaching on surface enamel. J Dent Res 1993; 72(1):67-71.
  14. Microabrasion: effect of time, number of applications, and pressure on enamel loss. Pediatr Dent 1995; 17:207-11.
  15. The effect of microabrasion on restorative materials and tooth surface. Oper Dent 1996; 21:63-68.
  16. Microabrasão com ácido fosfórico. Rev Bras Odontol 1995; 52:20-2.
  17. Efeito das técnicas de microabrasão no esmalte: estudo em microscopia eletrônica de varredura. Rev Odontol Univ Sao paulo 1998; 12(2):105-11.
  18. Análise da rugosidade do esmalte bovino submetido a microabrasão com diferentes materiais. Rev Ibero-Americana Odont Est Dent 2003; 2(8):337-46.
  19. Variation in the pattern of acid etching of human dental enamel examined by scanning electron microscopy. Caries Res 1975; 9:373-87.
  20. Shear bond strength of resin to acid/pumice-microabraded enamel. Oper dent 1995; 20(4):155-9.
  21. Microabrasion of human enamel in vitro using hydrochloric acid and pumice. Pediatr Dent 1989; 11:319-23.
  22. Loss of enamel due to etching with phosphoric or maleic acid. Dent Mater 1993; 9(5):332-6.
  23. J Clin Pediatr Dent 2005; 29(2):147-50.
  24. Effects of microabrasion on substance loss, surface roughness, and colorimetric changes on enamel in vitro. Quintessence Int 2008;In Press.
  25. Considerations about enamel microabrasion after 18 years. Am J Dent 2007; 20(2):67-72.
PDF Share
PDF Share

© Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD.