functional Considerations: Histologic Preparation of Tooth Tissues
Because most parts of the tooth are highly mineralized, teeth are prepared for histologic study by methods similar to those used for bone, namely, by means of ground sections and stained demineralized sections. Ground sections are most often used to study an extracted or exfoliated tooth. As in the preparation of bone, the ground section displays mineralized tissue but destroys soft tissue; deniineralization removes mineral and retains soft tissue. Demineralized sections have the advantage that they can be used to view a section of a tooth to study its relationship to the adjacent supporting structures. In routinely demineralized sections of a mature tooth, however, the enamel is dissolved and lost. Therefore, diagrams of a tooth showing features of both enamel and soft tissues are composite diagrams that combine data derived from both ground and demineralized sections (see Fig. 15.7).
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