Researchers use our freezers for preserving dental pulp, but Dr Qutieshat, a dental researcher, used one of our profile machines from twenty years ago for measuring hardness in his research on an Artificial Mouth - looking at tooth enamel erosion. Dr Abubaker Qutieshat, of the University of Dundee, recently published this research on designing and validating a "Realistic Artificial Mouth Model for Dental Erosion Research" undertaken in Dec 2015.  The clever system he built sought to mimic the interaction of saliva and dental substrate during the process of consuming erosive beverages. His model allows researchers to gather data using customizable experimental diets. This allows samples preloaded on the system to be tested for surface characteristics (i.e. surface hardness and surface profilometry) to determine the extent of any erosion. 

To validate the capabilities of his artificial mouth system a set of diets was repeated. His is the first study to report human drinking behaviour values for carbonated beverages in a social environment. In addition, 'Saltus' (his model) is the first in vitro model that simulates natural human drinking behaviour in terms of a test beverage flow rate and quantity with temperature and consumption time. 

A food or drink that has a pH of 7 is considered neutral, but many foods and beverages are in fact acidic. The acid content in convenience food and drinks is important for flavour, taste and shelf life. 

Dental tissue loss has been quantified using several techniques but one of the most reliable techniques is profilometry which measures the amount of loss relative to a non-affected reference area . In this case the Specimen surface loss was quantitatively measured using a Planer SF220 Surface Profiler, made by us some twenty years ago!  The diamond stylus in the machine was moved in a straight line across the specimen surface using reference and guidance lines that were marked on acrylic resin surface. And ... the artificial mouth 'Saltus' has won the European Federation of Conservative Dentistry Merit Award.

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