Near-Infrared Reflectance Imaging of Caries Lesions

  • Daniel FriedEmail author


Dental enamel becomes increasingly transparent with increasing wavelength, with minimum scattering and absorption near 1300 nm. Due to the higher wavelength of NIR, there is less light scattering in dental enamel and penetration of light 30 times more than light in the visible range. This allows for better contrast between sound enamel and demineralized (carious) enamel. NIR reflectance at wavelengths coincident with higher water absorption produced the greatest range of lesion contrast values and the contrast increased linearly with increasing lesion depth and severity. NIR can distinguish stains from demineralization at higher wavelengths, as signficcant advantage over other methods. NIR is a method more suitable for caries screening.


Near-IR imaging Caries detection Transillumination Reflectance Proximal lesions Occlusal lesions 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Biomaterials and Bioengineering, Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental SciencesUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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