Extracted unerupted permanent third molars with the occulusal half of the crown and apical half of the roots removed were cemented to Plexiglas blocks. Using a positive pressure system in which the movement of fluid across the dental tubules could be measured, the permeability of furcation dentin was measured before and after alteration of the furcation thickness. Subsequently, measurements of reduction in thickness of cementum and dentin were performed. Furcation dentin permeability was found to increase as the cementum and dentin thickness was reduced and the smear layer removed. The permeability values obtained for the furcation dentin were similar to those found in radicular dentin in general, indicating that root dentin has a low permeability and that it has good barrier properties. The data would suggest that any bone resorption seen under the furcation region of permanent molars is more likely to be due to the presence of accessory canals than due to permeation directly through furcation hard tissues.
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