Dental OCT

  • P. Wilder-Smith
  • L. Otis
  • J. Zhang
  • Z. Chen
Part of the Biological and Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering book series (BIOMEDICAL)

The oral cavity is a diverse environment that includes oral mucosa, gingival tissues, teeth and their supporting structures. Oral health is currently evaluated through three main avenues: visual/tactile examination, periodontal probing, and radiographic imaging. After the surfaces are dried with a gentle stream of air, visual examination of the teeth and surrounding soft tissue is completed. Clinicians tactically explore the surface hardness of the teeth to detect dental caries while early demineralization of the enamel and soft tissue inflammation are characterized by changes in visual characteristics. Probes are also placed between the soft tissue and tooth to assess periodontal health. Radiographs are used to determine the internal structural integrity of the teeth and alveolar bone. Although radiographs are highly sensitive for detecting regions of carious demineralization and alveolar bone loss, they have several limitations. Since radiographs are two-dimensional, precisely locating the position of a carious lesion or osseous defect is impossible. Radiographs cannot distinguish active from inactive disease and cannot identify periodontal disease until after bone loss has occurred. Finally, radiography uses harmful ionizing radiation and provides no information on soft tissue status.

This section will address all the anatomical structures within the oral cavity that are listed above. A brief review of normal oral structures will be followed by a summary of the pathologies affecting each structure, a discussion of existing diagnostic tools, and an overview of diagnostic usage of OCT in each structure to date. In the final section the authors present their views on the potential uses of OCT in Dentistry in the future.


Optical Coherence Tomogra Oral Health Oral Cancer Carious Lesion Optical Coherence Tomogra Image 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Wilder-Smith
  • L. Otis
  • J. Zhang
  • Z. Chen

There are no affiliations available

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