Cavities were prepared in human premolars scheduled for extraction for orthodontic reasons. The smear layer was removed from the dentin surface by acid etching, and the cavity was sealed using a hollow chamber. The chamber was filled with sterile saline solution and connected via tubing to a hydraulic circuit featuring an adjustable pressure reservoir and a device that measures fluid movement across dentin. In the absence of any exogenous pressure, all cavities exhibited an outward fluid flow rate of 0.36 μl min-1 cm-2. As exogenous pressure was applied to the cavity, the outward flow slowed. The exogenous pressure that stopped outward fluid flow was taken to be equal to normal pulpal tissue pressure. The mean value was 14.1 cm H2O in five teeth. This simple method permits measurement of dentinal fluid flux, the hydraulic conductance of dentin, and estimates pulpal tissue pressure.
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