Collagen degradation in endodontically treated teeth after clinical function

M. Ferrari, P. N. Mason, C. Goracci, D. H. Pashley, F. R. Tay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Endodontically treated teeth restored with posts are susceptible to coronal leakage after long-term function. We hypothesize that demineralized collagen matrices (DCMs) created in dentin by acidic zinc phosphate cement within the dowel spaces degrade with time. Forty-two post-restored teeth were extracted after three periods of clinical service and were examined, by means of scanning and transmission electron microscopy, for the status of the DCMs. SEM revealed a progressive degradation of the DCMs, becoming less dense after 3 to 5 years, losing structural integrity after 6 to 9 years, and partially disappearing after 10 to 12 years. TEM revealed evidence of collagenolytic activity within the DCMs, with loss of cross-banding and unraveling into microfibrils, and gelatinolytic activity that resulted in disintegration of the microfibrils. Bacterial colonization and the release of bacterial enzymes and of host-derived matrix metalloproteinases may contribute to the degradation of collagen fibrils in root dentin after clinical function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)414-419
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacteria
  • Collagen fibrils
  • In vivo
  • Matrix metalloproteinases
  • Root dentin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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