Apatite Crystallites: Effects of Carbonate on Morphology

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Science  17 Mar 1967:
Vol. 155, Issue 3768, pp. 1409-1411
DOI: 10.1126/science.155.3768.1409


Carbonate is a substituent in the apatite structure; when present, it limits the size of the growing apatite crystals and so influences their shape that they grow more equiaxed than needle-like. The tendency for carbonate apatites to be equiaxed is related to the nature of the chemical bonds formed in the crystal. The interference of carbonate with the good crystallization of apatite, and its weakening effect on the bonds in the structure, increase the dissolution rate and the solubility, thereby presumably contributing to the susceptibility to caries of dental apatites containing carbonate.