Abstract

This study aims to evaluate early caries in human teeth with different geometry structures by using the dispersion curves of a surface acoustic wave (SAW) generated by a pulsed laser. Through the finite element method, SAWs propagating on teeth models with different enamel thickness and curvature radius were simulated, and the influence of the geometry difference on the dispersion curves of SAWs was discussed. Laser ultrasonic experiments were performed on an extracted human incisor and molar with different demineralization conditions. The received dispersive surface wave signals were processed via the spectral analysis method to obtain the dispersion curves, and the difference of the dispersion spectra between the incisor and the molar was analyzed and discussed. The result demonstrates that the laser generating the SAW has the ability to evaluate the elastic properties of early caries with different geometry nondestructively.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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