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Proceedings Paper

Photoacoustic microscopy of human teeth
Author(s): Bin Rao; Xin Cai; Christopher Favazza; Junjie Yao; Li Li; Steven Duong; Lih-Huei Liaw; Jennifer Holtzman; Petra Wilder-Smith; Lihong V. Wang
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Paper Abstract

Photoacoustic microscopy (PAM) utilizes short laser pulses to deposit energy into light absorbers and sensitively detects the ultrasonic waves the absorbers generate in response. PAM directly renders a three-dimensional spatial distribution of sub-surface optical absorbers. Unlike other optical imaging technologies, PAM features label-free optical absorption contrast and excellent imaging depths. Standard dental imaging instruments are limited to X-ray and CCD cameras. Subsurface optical dental imaging is difficult due to the highly-scattering enamel and dentin tissue. Thus, very few imaging methods can detect dental decay or diagnose dental pulp, which is the innermost part of the tooth, containing the nerves, blood vessels, and other cells. Here, we conducted a feasibility study on imaging dental decay and dental pulp with PAM. Our results showed that PAM is sensitive to the color change associated with dental decay. Although the relative PA signal distribution may be affected by surface contours and subsurface reflections from deeper dental tissue, monitoring changes in the PA signals (at the same site) over time is necessary to identify the progress of dental decay. Our results also showed that deep-imaging, near-infrared (NIR) PAM can sensitively image blood in the dental pulp of an in vitro tooth. In conclusion, PAM is a promising tool for imaging both dental decay and dental pulp.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 February 2011
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 7884, Lasers in Dentistry XVII, 78840U (17 February 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.874070
Show Author Affiliations
Bin Rao, Washington Univ. in St. Louis (United States)
Xin Cai, Washington Univ. in St. Louis (United States)
Christopher Favazza, Washington Univ. in St. Louis (United States)
Junjie Yao, Washington Univ. in St. Louis (United States)
Li Li, Washington Univ. in St. Louis (United States)
Steven Duong, Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic (United States)
Lih-Huei Liaw, Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic (United States)
Jennifer Holtzman, Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic (United States)
Petra Wilder-Smith, Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic (United States)
Lihong V. Wang, Washington Univ. in St. Louis (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7884:
Lasers in Dentistry XVII
Peter Rechmann; Daniel Fried, Editor(s)

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