This study assessed connective tissue and epithelial responses to dentin specimens obtained from periodontitis-affected roots of human teeth after surface demineralization. Rectangular dentin specimens with opposite faces of root and pulpal dentin were prepared from beneath root surfaces covered by sheets of calculus. One half of the specimens were treated with citric acid, pH 1, for 3 minutes, while the remainder served as untreated controls. Specimens were implanted vertically into incisional wounds on the dorsal surface of rats with one end of the implant protruding through the skin. Four specimens in each group were available 1, 3, 5 and 10 days after implantation. Histologic and histometric analyses included counts of adhering cells, evaluation of attached connective tissue fiber density and diameter, and assessment of epithelial migration. Analyses within each group comparing root and pulpal surfaces showed no differences between any of the parameters. Comparisons between experimental and control groups showed that demineralized surfaces had a greater number of cells attached, fiber attachment occurred and epithelial downgrowth was inhibited. Surface demineralization of dentin from periodontitis-affected roots predisposed toward a connective tissue attachment.
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