An experimental investigation into dental wear: tooth-tooth contact

Marc Arthur Masen, A. van 't Spijker, C.M. Kreulen

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This work discusses some experiments with respect to the sliding contact between human teeth. The objective is to study whether in-depth investigations into the dominant wear modes in dental wear can be made using a standard tribotester with samples manufactured from natural teeth. A tribological pair of two test samples was prepared from each single incisor by cutting it into halves and machining one half to be flat and the other to be hemispherically shaped. Sphere-on-flat reciprocating sliding contact experiments were conducted. The resulting wear track was analysed, and the wear volumes were quantified. The observed variation in wear volumes was larger than what would be expected as inherent to the wear process, which is attributed to biological variations and the resulting variations in mechanical properties of the specimens used. For in-depth studies of the basic mechanisms involved in dental wear, the samples should receive special care and attention, particularly with respect to enamel thickness and prism orientation. The obtained results indicate that two wear regimes are predominant and that their occurrence might be related to the thickness of the enamel layer that covers the teeth
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)589-594
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Part J: Journal of engineering tribology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • IR-85660
  • METIS-269827

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