Objectives: To determine the mineralogical, chemical, and microtextural differences between commercially available MTA products, clarifying common differences with Portland and between each other. Materials and methods: The study was done on four commercially available MTA cements, that is Ogna Aureoseal®, Proroot white MTA®, Angelus white and gray MTA® and on a commercial Portland cement. After preliminary X-ray diffraction characterization of the powder, the samples were consolidated following the same procedure used in clinical practice. The consolidated material was embedded in epoxy and polished, and subsequently investigated, by means of SEM-EDS analysis of back-scattered electron images on all samples and of quantitative compositional mapping on MTA. Results: The MTA and Portland cements differ for the grain size, the hydration rate, and homogeneity of the set products, and for lower Fe and S content in MTA. Previously reported presence of opacizing agents (Bi2O3 and CaWO4) was confirmed in all samples, whereas low Al content was not observed in all MTA. Although the MTA products are all mainly composed by di-calcium and tri-calcium silicates, the post-setting texture and the chemical and mineralogical constitution differ. Finer texture was observed in Ogna Aureoseal® and Proroot white MTA®; in Ogna Aureoseal® the presence of apatite and Ca-tungstate was reported; Mg and Al content changed in samples, following the clinker composition. Conclusions: Significant differences exist between Portland cement and MTA, but also among different MTA formulations. MTA products can be classified as a form of Portland cement, specifically modified for dentistry purposes. © 2011 Società Italiana di Endodonzia. Published by Elsevier Srl. All rights reserved.
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