Abstract

The light-scattering properties of dental enamel and dentin were measured at 543, 632, and 1053 nm. Angularly resolved scattering distributions for these materials were measured from 0° to 180° using a rotating goniometer. Surface scattering was minimized by immersing the samples in an index-matching bath. The scattering and absorption coefficients and the scattering phase function were deduced by comparing the measured scattering data with angularly resolved Monte Carlo light-scattering simulations. Enamel and dentin were best represented by a linear combination of a highly forward-peaked Henyey–Greenstein (HG) phase function and an isotropic phase function. Enamel weakly scatters light between 543 nm and 1.06 μm, with the scattering coefficient (μs) ranging from μs = 15 to 105 cm−1. The phase function is a combination of a HG function with g = 0.96 and a 30–60% isotropic phase function. For enamel, absorption is negligible. Dentin scatters strongly in the visible and near IR (μs ≅ 260 cm−1) and absorbs weakly (μa ≅ 4 cm−1). The scattering phase function for dentin is described by a HG function with g = 0.93 and a very weak isotropic scattering component (~2%).

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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