Introduction: The purpose of a desensitizing agent is a permanent coating or filling of dentin surface. Morphological analysis in vitro of this treated surface is essential to understand the interaction between desensitizing agent and hypersensitive dentin. The aim was to evaluate the morphology of four dentin surface treated with desensitizing agents.
Methods: This was an in vitro laboratory study, where fifteen specimens from extracted human premolars were obtained. The enamel was removed to expose the dentin surface, polished with silicon carbide abrasive papers and etched with 6% citric acid for 2 min. The specimens were randomly divided into 5 groups: G1 - without treatment (control) (C), G2 - fluoride varnish (FV), G3 - potassium oxalate (PO), G4 - 2-step self-etching adhesive system (AS), G5 - diode laser (DL). The specimens were cleaved in the lingualbuccal direction, prepared for analysis by Scanning Electron Microscope and the surface and interior of the dentinal tubules were observed at 1500× magnification.
Results: In the control group, the dentin etching promoted smear layer removal and exposure of dentinal tubules. In the group of fluoride varnish, a film was observed on the surface, with plugs of varnish into tubules. In the group of oxalate, partial obliteration of the tubular entrances was observed. In the group of the adhesive system, the tubules were obstructed through the formation of hybrid layer and a physical barrier on the surface. In the group of the diode laser, dentin melting and solidification with partial occlusion of dentinal tubules were observed.
Conclusions: All desensitizing agents evaluated demonstrated ability to modify the surface of dentin, with partial or total occlusion of dentinal tubules. Thus, it is suggested to do more clinical studies to verify the effectiveness of the findings.