We have described the morphology of developing plaque on cementum in an in vivo human model. Slabs of cementum obtained from sound teeth, rendered anorganic with 5% sodium hypochlorite, were glued to orthodontic brackets and positioned on the upper canines, premolars and molars in 8 volunteers, The brackets were removed after 2, 4, 8, 24 h and processed for scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Within 2 h, a thin pellicle covered the cementum surface, with few micro-organisms detectable. At 4 and 8 h, coccoid plaques were present. Filaments inserted perpendicularly to the plaque surface were seen at 24 h. The results indicate that early bacterial colonization of human cementum is a selective process, mediated by an organic pellicle and mainly involves cocci.
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