J Vet Sci.  2020 Nov;21(6):e83. 10.4142/jvs.2020.21.e83.

Comparative scanning electron microscope analysis of the enamel of permanent human, bovine and porcine teeth

  • 1Department of Conservative Dentistry, Medical University of Lodz, 92-217 Łódź, Poland
  • 2Institute of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Technology in Lodz, 90-924 Łódź, Poland


Bovine and porcine teeth are often used in in vitro experiments as substitutes of human teeth.
The aim of the present study was to perform a comparative analysis of enamel morphology of permanent human, bovine and porcine teeth under the scanning electron microscope.
As many as 10 human, 10 bovine, and 10 porcine teeth were studied. All the teeth were sectioned and the halves were randomly divided into 2 groups according to the examined tissue (vestibular enamel at the mid-height of the dental crown and in the cervical area). Human and bovine enamel was etched for 15 sec and porcine enamel for 30 sec. The scanning electron microscope analysis was performed. The length and width of enamel prisms were determined with the “Met-Ilo” 1.1 computer program.
All enamel samples revealed the same etching pattern—Silverstone's type 2. Bovine enamel showed a similar porosity and the amount of interprismatic enamel compared to human enamel while the amount and width of interprismatic enamel bands in porcine enamel were evidently greater. The shape of the porcine prisms was visually similar to human prisms, although dimensions were significantly different. However, bovine prisms differed in form and appeared to be distinctly elongated.
Reported findings indicate that the results of experimental studies carried out on bovine and porcine enamel should not be compared with the results obtained on human enamel.


Cattle; human; swine; enamel; teeth
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