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Proceedings Paper

Need for new caries detection methods
Author(s): Douglas A. Young; John D. B. Featherstone
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Paper Abstract

Dental caries (tooth decay) continues to be a major problems for adults as well as children, even though great advances have been made in preventive methods in the last 20 years. New methods for the management of caries will work best if lesions can be detected at an early stage and chemical rather than physical intervention can take place, thereby preserving the natural tooth structure and helping the saliva to heal, or remineralize, the areas of early decay. Clinical detection of caries in the US relies on visual examination, tactile with hand held explorer, and conventional radiographs, all of which are inadequate for the occlusal (biting) surfaces of the teeth where most of the decay now occurs. The dentist often has to explore by drilling with a dental bur to confirm early decay in these areas. New method that can determine the extent and degree of subsurface lesions in these surfaces non-destructively are essential for further advances in the clinical management of dental caries. Optical methods, which exploit the differences between sound and carious enamel and dentin, show great promise for the accurate detection of these lesions. Two or three- dimensional images, which include a measure of severity will be needed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 May 1999
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 3593, Lasers in Dentistry V, (19 May 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.348340
Show Author Affiliations
Douglas A. Young, Univ. of the Pacific (United States)
John D. B. Featherstone, Univ. of California/San Francisco (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3593:
Lasers in Dentistry V
John D. B. Featherstone; Peter Rechmann; Daniel Fried, Editor(s)

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