The aim was to characterize the external structure, roughness, and absolute depth profile (ADP) of fluorotic enamel compared with healthy enamel. Eighty extracted human molars were classified into four groups [TFI: 0, control (C); 1–3, mild (MI); 4–5, moderate (MO); 6–9, severe fluorosis (S)] according to the Thylstrup-Fejerskov Index (TFI). All samples were analyzed by atomic force microscopy.
The mean values of enamel surface roughness (ESR) in nm were: Group C, 92.6; Group MI, 188.8; Group MO, 246.9; and Group S, 532.2. The mean values of absolute depth profile in nm were: C, 1,065.7; MI, 2,360.7; MO, 2,536.7; and S, 6,146.2. The differences between mean ESR and mean ADP among groups were statistically significant (p < 0.05). This structural study confirms at the nanometer level that there is a positive association between fluorosis severity, ESR, and ADP, and there is an association with the clinical findings of fluorosis measured by TFI as well.