Statement of the Problem: Although various kinds of research have been conducted to compare the physical and chemical properties of dentin and enamel in animal and human samples, proving the ability of animal dentin material as a good substitute for human specimens is always a challenge for experimental studies.
Purpose: The aim of the present study is to investigate whether the changes in the dentin microhardness of animal samples are similar to those of human samples or not.
Materials and Method: In this in vitro study, sixty single-rooted human, bovine, and ovine teeth (n=20 in each group) were decoronated at CEJ. The remaining roots were embedded in acrylic resin and a cross-section cut was made in the middle of the samples in order to achieve dentin disks. All of the 120 samples were randomly assigned to three control (n=20 for each group) and three experimental groups (n=20 for each group). In the experimental groups, calcium hydroxide with a creamy consistency was prepared and the disks were embedded in dishes containing calcium hydroxide. Control groups were embedded in physiological saline. The samples were incubated for seven days at the 37oC and Vickers microhardness test was performed immediately. The average of three yielded values was considered as the final value of microhardness. Data were analyzed using two-way ANOVA, one-way ANOVA, and Tukey’s post hoc tests.
Results: In the control group, the human samples showed the highest microhardness value, while the bovine teeth had the lowest microhardness value (p< 0.001). In the calcium hydroxide group, the human samples showed the highest microhardness value in comparison to bovine and ovine to teeth. However, no significant difference was observed between the bovine and ovine samples in microhardness value.
Conclusion: Based on our research, substituting bovine and ovine samples with human samples in experimental studies is not recommended. Nevertheless, more studies are needed in this regard.