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Proceedings Paper

Microanalysis of dental caries using laser-scanned fluorescence
Author(s): Joseph R. Barron; Barry E. Paton; Kenneth L. Zakariasen
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Paper Abstract

It is well known that enamel and dentin fluoresce when illuminated by short-wavelength optical radiation. Fluorescence emission from carious and non-carious regions of teeth have been studied using a new experimental scanning technique for fluorescence analysis of dental sections. Scanning in 2 dimensions will allow surface maps of dental caries to be created. These surface images are then enhanced using the conventional and newer image processing techniques. Carious regions can be readily identified and contour maps can be used to graphically display the degree of damage on both surfaces and transverse sections. Numerous studies have shown that carious fluorescence is significantly different than non-carious regions. The scanning laser fluorescence spectrometer focuses light from a 25 mW He-Cd laser at 442 nm through an objective lens onto a cross-section area as small as 3 micrometers in diameter. Microtome prepared dental samples 100 micrometers thick are laid flat onto an optical bench perpendicular to the incident beam. The sample is moved under computer control in X & Y with an absolute precision of 0.1 micrometers . The backscattered light is both spatial and wavelength filtered before being measured on a long wavelength sensitized photomultiplier tube. High precision analysis of dental samples allow detailed maps of carious regions to be determined. Successive images allow time studies of caries growth and even the potential for remineralization studies of decalcified regions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 June 1992
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 1643, Laser Surgery: Advanced Characterization, Therapeutics, and Systems III, (1 June 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.137382
Show Author Affiliations
Joseph R. Barron, Dalhousie Univ. (Canada)
Barry E. Paton, Dalhousie Univ. (Canada)
Kenneth L. Zakariasen, Dalhousie Univ. (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1643:
Laser Surgery: Advanced Characterization, Therapeutics, and Systems III
R. Rox Anderson, Editor(s)

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