Imaging Oral Biofilm and Plaque

  • Janet Ajdaharian
  • Jae Ho Baek


Oral biofilm is a primary determinant of oral health, yet our ability to detect, map, and characterize it in vivo remains extremely limited. Moreover, there exists an as yet unmet but pressing need for characterizing its properties and response to prevention and intervention measures. Because clinical mapping of oral biofilm has been primarily restricted to macroscopic plaque staining techniques combined with naked eye visualization, additional means of assessing and quantifying oral biofilm in situ at high levels of resolution are currently under development. This chapter addresses emerging optical imaging modalities for evaluating in vivo oral biofilm noninvasively. Desirable attributes include: informing on variables that translate into clinical decision-making guidance to improve diagnosis, better treatment planning and outcomes, ease and speed of use, appropriate cost for the indicated setting, patient-friendly probes, and reliability. In this chapter, the principles behind optical approaches to imaging and characterizing oral biofilm, as well as their feasibility and applicability for imaging in situ are reviewed.


Oral biofilm Dental plaque Salivary pellicle Optical coherence tomography (OCT) Optical coherence microscopy (OCM) Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) Multiphoton fluorescence microcopy (MPM) Atomic force microscopy Light sheet fluorescence microscopy (LSFM) Ultrasound imaging Digital imaging 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janet Ajdaharian
    • 1
  • Jae Ho Baek
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Beckman Laser Institute, University of CaliforniaIrvineUSA
  2. 2.Department of OrthodonticsDental Hospital, Pusan National UniversityYangsan CitySouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of DentistryUlsan University HospitalUlsan CitySouth Korea
  4. 4.WeSmile Orthodontic ClinicUlsan CitySouth Korea

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