The purpose of this study was to evaluate (with scanning electron microscopy and microbiological characterization) the bacterial deposits which accumulate on hydrogen-ion-sensitive field-effect transistor electrodes (pH-ISFET) under conditions normally employed for telemetric monitoring of changes in human dental plaque pH. Electrodes were mounted in a carrier appliance which was worn for two, four, and six days. The plaque pH response to a sucrose solution increased with the age of the plaque, as expected from previous studies. After two days, the electrode was shown to be almost completely covered with cocci. At days 4 and 6 there was a dramatic increase in the number of rods present in the plaque. Adjacent enamel surfaces showed similar accumulations of bacteria. The total number of bacteria which had accumulated per unit area by day 4 was very similar for the electrode and enamel surfaces. On both surfaces the plaque contained approximately 25% streptococci, and the dominant species was Streptococcus sanguis (approximately 75%). The plaque which accumulated on pH-ISFET electrodes could not be distinguished visually or microbiologically from that which formed on control enamel surfaces.
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