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Proceedings Paper

Ultrasonic assessment of tooth structure
Author(s): David W. Blodgett
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Paper Abstract

A means of assessing the internal structure of teeth based upon use of high frequency, highly localized ultrasound (acoustic waves) generated by a short laser pulse is discussed. Some key advantages of laser-generated ultrasound over more traditional contact transducer methods are that it is noncontact and nondestructive in nature and requires no special surface preparation. Optical interferometric detection of ultrasound provides a complementary nondestructive, noncontact technique with a very small detection footprint. This combination of techniques, termed laser-based ultrasonics, holds promise for future in-vivo diagnostics of tooth health. In this paper, initial results using laser-based ultrasound for assessment of dental structures are presented on an extracted human incisor. Results show the technique to be sensitive to the enamel/dentin, dentin/pulp, and dentin/cementum junctions as well as a region of dead tracts in the dentin.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 June 2002
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 4617, Laser Tissue Interaction XIII: Photochemical, Photothermal, and Photomechanical, (27 June 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.472536
Show Author Affiliations
David W. Blodgett, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4617:
Laser Tissue Interaction XIII: Photochemical, Photothermal, and Photomechanical
Steven L. Jacques; Donald Dean Duncan; Sean J. Kirkpatrick; Andres Kriete; Donald Dean Duncan; Sean J. Kirkpatrick; Andres Kriete, Editor(s)

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