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Proceedings Paper

Near-IR polarization imaging of sound and carious dental enamel
Author(s): Cynthia L. Darling; Jane J. Jiao; Chulsung Lee; Hobin Kang; Daniel Fried
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Paper Abstract

A thorough understanding of how polarized near-IR light propagates through sound and carious dental hard tissues is important for the development of dental optical imaging systems. New optical imaging tools for the detection and assessment of dental caries (dental decay) such as near-IR imaging and optical coherence tomography can exploit the enhanced contrast provided by polarization sensitivity. In this investigation, an automated system was developed to collect images for the full 16-element Mueller Matrix. The polarized light was controlled by linear polarizers and liquid crystal retarders and the 36 images were acquired as the polarized near-IR light propagates through the enamel of extracted human thin tooth sections. In previous work, we reported that polarized light is rapidly depolarized by demineralized enamel, and sound and demineralized dentin.1 The rapid depolarization of polarized light by dental caries in the near-IR provides high contrast for caries imaging and detection. In this initial study, major differences in the Mueller matrix elements were observed in both sound and demineralized enamel which supports this approach and warrants further investigation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 March 2010
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 7549, Lasers in Dentistry XVI, 75490L (5 March 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.849341
Show Author Affiliations
Cynthia L. Darling, Univ. of California, San Francisco (United States)
Jane J. Jiao, Univ. of California, San Francisco (United States)
Chulsung Lee, Univ. of California, San Francisco (United States)
Hobin Kang, Univ. of California, San Francisco (United States)
Daniel Fried, Univ. of California, San Francisco (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7549:
Lasers in Dentistry XVI
Peter Rechmann; Daniel Fried, Editor(s)

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