Should be received in formalin. Identify tooth (e.g., upper left second premolar or lower right second deciduous molar). Note the presence of caries or restoration, root resorption or attached soft tissue. Sample the soft tissue and process in the usual manner.

For an intrinsic developmental disorder of dental hard tissue (e.g., dentinogenesis imperfecta) submit for preparation of undemineralised 50-micron slice through the buccolingual plane of the tooth.

If no such intrinsic abnormality is suspected, decalcify in 5% formic acid. End point can be tested radiographically or with ammonia water. When negative, bisect molars in the mesio-distal plane; others in the buccolingual plane. Demineralise further briefly (2 or 3 days) then process and embed as normal. Sections should demonstrate pulpal tissue in pulp chamber and root canal as well as the interface between pulp and dentine.

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