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Proceedings Paper

Polarization resolved near-IR imaging of sound and carious dental enamel
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Paper Abstract

A thorough understanding of how polarized near-IR light is reflected from and transmitted through sound and carious dental hard tissues is important for the development of optical imaging devices. New optical imaging tools employing non-ionizing radiation are needed for the detection and assessment of dental caries. 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 is reflected from the occlusal surface or transmitted through thin sections of extracted human whole teeth. Previous near-IR imaging studies suggest that polarization imaging can be exploited to obtain higher contrast images of early dental caries due to the rapid depolarization of incident polarized light by the highly scattering areas of decay. In this study, the reflectance from tooth occlusal surfaces with demineralization and transmitted light through tooth thin sections with caries lesions were investigated. Major differences in the Mueller matrix elements were observed in both sound and demineralized enamel. This study suggests that polarization resolved optical imaging can be exploited to obtain higher contrast images of dental decay.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 February 2011
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 7884, Lasers in Dentistry XVII, 78840O (18 February 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.878893
Show Author Affiliations
Cynthia L. Darling, Univ. of California, San Francisco (United States)
Kenneth H. Chan, Univ. of California, San Francisco (United States)
Daniel Fried, Univ. of California, San Francisco (United States)


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

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