Use of Sodium Hydroxide as an Alternative in Tooth Clearing Technique

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Valentina Vilches-Gómez; Begoña Mardones; Nicolás E. Ottone & Pablo A. Lizana


To preserve cadaveric material, different techniques, and solutions have been created where one technique is dental diaphanization to study the internal morphology of the

tooth. This technique consists of making the calcified tooth tissue transparent and making the root canals visible by injecting a dye mixture into them. Different variants of the diaphanization technique have been described, such as the Okumura and the Robertson techniques. However, both techniques use toxic or difficult-to-access reagents, so a search has been made for low- cost and easily accessible reagents to perform the diaphanization technique, reporting that the diaphanization technique by maceration with KOH is valid for the diaphanization of teeth. This study aimed to use NaOH in the dental clearing technique by maceration as a variant of KOH since it is a base with similar characteristics to KOH. Thirteen teeth (seven third molars, five premolars, and one canine) were used to perform three variants of the diaphanization technique: Robertson technique, KOH maceration, and NaOH maceration using a stirring bar and magnetic stirrer on the teeth. With the Robertson technique, a completely transparent tooth was obtained, while the teeth cleared by maceration, with both KOH and NaOH, were less transparent, although the root canals became visible. Therefore, using NaOH in the diaphanization technique by maceration is valid, although it requires more time than KOH maceration.

KEY WORDS: Dental diaphanization; Maceration; NaOH.

How to cite this article

VILCHES-GÓMEZ, V.; MARDONES, B.; OTTONE, N. E.; LIZANA, P. A. Use of sodium hydroxide as an alternative in tooth clearing technique. Int. J. Morphol. 41(3):743-748, 2023.