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Proceedings Paper

Dental pulp vitality measurement based on multiwavelength photoplethysmography
Author(s): Ville Sarkela; Harri K. Kopola; Kyosti Oikarinen; Esko Herrala
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Paper Abstract

Observation of the intradental blood supply is important in cases of dental trauma, but difficult. As the methods used by dentists to measure pulp vitality are not very reliable, a dental pulp vitalometer based on fiberoptic reflectance measurement and measurement of the absorption of blood has been designed and built. In addition to the fiber optic probe and reflectance sensor electronics, the vitalometer includes a data acquisition card, a PC and data processing programs. The thick dentin and enamel layers and the small amount of blood in a tooth are major problems for optical measurement of its vitality, and scattered light from the enamel and the dentin surrounding the pulpa also causes a problem in measurements based on reflectance. These problems are assessed here by means of theoretical models and calculations. The advantage of reflectance measurement is that only one probe is used, which is easy to put against the tooth. Thus measurements are simple to make. Three wavelengths (560 nm, 650 nm, 850 nm) are used to measure photoplethysmographic signals, and these should allow the oxygen saturation of the blood in a tooth to be measured as well in the future. Series of measurements have been performed on vital and non-vital teeth by recording photoplethysmographic signals, using the vitalometer and using a commercial laser-Doppler instrument. Verifications of the laser-Doppler and vitalometer results are presented and deduced here.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 January 1995
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2631, Medical and Fiber Optic Sensors and Delivery Systems, (3 January 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.229169
Show Author Affiliations
Ville Sarkela, Univ. of Oulu (Finland)
Harri K. Kopola, Univ. of Oulu (Finland)
Kyosti Oikarinen, Univ. of Oulu (Finland)
Esko Herrala, VTT Electronics (Finland)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2631:
Medical and Fiber Optic Sensors and Delivery Systems
Nathan I. Croitoru; Mitsunobu Miyagi; Guillermo Orellana; Annamaria Verga Scheggi; Henricus J. C. M. Sterenborg, Editor(s)

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