In vitro and in situ erosion models for evaluating tooth substance loss

N. X. West, M. Davies, B. T. Amaechi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Because of the difficulties in measuring erosion in vivo, a number of in vitro and in situ models have been developed and validated. These models are flexible and informative, allowing single as well as multiple variables to be examined under specific conditions using accurate measurement techniques over defined timelines, thus yielding useful data without harmful effects on individuals. This information, together with clinical findings, is essential for clinicians advising susceptible patients appropriately regarding the management of their condition. Little guidance is available, however, on the standardisation of in vitro and in situ protocols for erosive tooth wear studies, so it is difficult to make meaningful comparisons between investigations as experimental variables differ widely from study to study. The aim of this review was to collate the available data on models designed to assess erosive challenges which are severe enough to cause tissue loss as opposed to just softening of the surface structure. The different types of models, with their merits and pitfalls, are documented. Test substrates, disinfecting regimens and ethical considerations are discussed. The aims of this paper are to give guidance to the researcher on evidence-based in vitro and in situ erosive tooth wear methodology and to suggest best practice given current knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-52
Number of pages10
JournalCaries Research
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Clinical studies
  • Erosion
  • Erosive tooth wear
  • In situ model
  • In vitro model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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