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Proceedings Paper

Laser ultrasonic techniques for assessment of tooth structure
Author(s): David W. Blodgett; Kevin C. Baldwin
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Paper Abstract

Dental health care and research workers require a means of imaging the structures within teeth in vivo. For example, there is a need to image the margins of a restoration for the detection of poor bonding or voids between the restorative material and the dentin. With conventional x-ray techniques, it is difficult to detect cracks and to visualize interfaces between hard media. This due to the x-ray providing only a 2 dimensional projection of the internal structure (i.e. a silhouette). In addition, a high resolution imaging modality is needed to detect tooth decay in its early stages. If decay can be detected early enough, the process can be monitored and interventional procedures, such as fluoride washes and controlled diet, can be initiated which can help the tooth to re-mineralize itself. Currently employed x-ray imaging is incapable of detecting decay at a stage early enough to avoid invasive cavity preparation followed by a restoration with a synthetic material. Other clinical applications include the visualization of periodontal defects, the localization of intraosseous lesions, and determining the degree of osseointegration between a dental implant and the surrounding bone. A means of assessing the internal structure of the tooth based upon use of high frequency, highly localized ultrasound (acoustic waves) generated by a laser pulse is discussed. Optical interferometric detection of ultrasound provides a complementary technique with a very small detection footprint. Initial results using laser-based ultrasound for assessment of dental structures are presented. Discussion will center on the adaptability of this technique to clinical applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 June 2000
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3914, Laser-Tissue Interaction XI: Photochemical, Photothermal, and Photomechanical, (13 June 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.388083
Show Author Affiliations
David W. Blodgett, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Kevin C. Baldwin, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3914:
Laser-Tissue Interaction XI: Photochemical, Photothermal, and Photomechanical
Jeffrey O. Hollinger; Donald Dean Duncan; Jeffrey O. Hollinger; Donald Dean Duncan; Steven L. Jacques, Editor(s)

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