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Proceedings Paper

Selective removal of natural occlusal caries by coupling near-infrared imaging with a CO2 laser
Author(s): You-Chen Tao; Daniel Fried
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Paper Abstract

Laser removal of dental hard tissue can be combined with optical, spectral or acoustic feedback systems to selectively ablate dental caries and restorative materials. Near-infrared (NIR) imaging has considerable potential for the optical discrimination of sound and demineralized tissue. Last year we successfully demonstrated that near-IR images can be used to guide a CO2 laser ablation system for the selective removal of artificial caries lesions on smooth surfaces. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that two-dimensional near-infrared images of natural occlusal caries can be used to guide a CO2 laser for selective removal. Two-dimensional NIR images were acquired at 1310-nm of extracted human molar teeth with occlusal caries. Polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) was also used to acquire depth-resolved images of the lesion areas. An imaging processing module was developed to analyze the NIR imaging output and generate optical maps that were used to guide a CO2 laser to selectively remove the lesions at a uniform depth. Post-ablation NIR images were acquired to verify caries removal. Based on the analysis of the NIR images, caries lesions were selectively removed with a CO2 laser while sound tissues were conserved. However, the removal rate varied markedly with the severity of decay and multiple passes were required for caries removal. These initial results are promising but indicate that the selective removal of natural caries is more challenging than the selective removal of artificial lesions due to varying tooth geometry, the highly variable organic/mineral ratio in natural lesions and more complicated lesion structure.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 February 2008
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6843, Lasers in Dentistry XIV, 68430I (27 February 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.778790
Show Author Affiliations
You-Chen Tao, Univ. of California/San Francisco (United States)
Daniel Fried, Univ. of California/San Francisco (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6843:
Lasers in Dentistry XIV
Peter Rechmann; Daniel Fried, Editor(s)

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