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Proceedings Paper

Dental depth profilometry using simultaneous frequency-domain infrared photothermal radiometry and laser luminescence for the diagnosis of dental caries
Author(s): Lena Nicolaides; Jose A. Garcia; Andreas Mandelis; Stephen H. Abrams
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Paper Abstract

Frequency-domain IR photothermal radiometry is introduced as a dynamic dental diagnostic tool and its main features are compared with modulated laser luminescence for quantifying sound and carious enamel or dentin. Dental caries found in the fissures or grooves of teeth is very difficult to diagnose or quantify with the present clinical techniques. Visual examination and dental radiographs do not detect the presence of decay until there has been significant carious destruction of the tooth. A high-spatial-resolution dynamic experimental imaging set-up, which can provide simultaneous measurements of laser-induced frequency-domain IR photothermal radiometric and luminescence signals form defects in teeth, was developed. Following optical absorption of laser photons, the new set-up can monitor simultaneously and independently the non-radiative conversion, and the radiative de-excitation in turbid media such as hard dental tissue. This work is intended to show the complementarity between modulated luminescence and photothermal frequency scans in detecting carious lesions in teeth. A sound extracted molar with a dentin-enamel interface was introduced to examine the depth profilometric abilities of the method. Occlusal surfaces of teeth with potential areas of demineralization or carious destruction in the fissures were examined and compared to the signals produced by the sound enamel establishing the depth profilometric abilities of the method. The significance to clinical dentistry lies in the potential of this technique to detect and monitor early carious lesions in the pits and fissures of teeth.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 April 2001
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4249, Lasers in Dentistry VII, (27 April 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.424509
Show Author Affiliations
Lena Nicolaides, Univ. of Toronto and Materials and Manufacturing Ontario (Canada)
Jose A. Garcia, Univ. of Toronto and Materials and Manufacturing Ontario (Canada)
Andreas Mandelis, Univ. of Toronto and Materials and Manufacturing Ontario (Canada)
Stephen H. Abrams, Four Cell Consulting (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4249:
Lasers in Dentistry VII
Peter Rechmann; Daniel Fried; Thomas Hennig, Editor(s)

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