Abstract

New imaging technologies are needed for the early detection of dental caries (decay) in the interproximal contact sites between teeth. Previous measurements have demonstrated that dental enamel is highly transparent in the near-IR at 1300-nm. In this study, a near-IR imaging system operating at 1300-nm was used to acquire images through tooth sections of varying thickness and whole teeth in order to demonstrate the utility of a near-IR dental transillumination system for the imaging of early dental caries (decay). Simulated lesions, which model the optical scattering of natural dental caries, were placed in plano-parallel dental enamel sections. The contrast ratio between the simulated lesions and surrounding sound enamel was calculated from analysis of acquired projection images. The results show significant contrast between the lesion and the enamel (>0.35) and a spatial line profile that clearly resolves the lesion in samples as thick as 6.75-mm. This study clearly demonstrates that a near-IR transillumination system has considerable potential for the imaging of early dental decay.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. J. D. B. Featherstone and D. Young, "The need for new caries detection methods," Lasers in Dentistry V, San Jose, CA, Proc. SPIE 3593, 134-140 (1999).
  2. J. Peltola and J. Wolf, " Fiber optics transillumination in caries diagnosis," Proc. Finn. Dent. Soc. 77, 240-244, (1981).
    [PubMed]
  3. J. Barenie, G. Leske, and L. W. Ripa, "The use of fiber optic transillumination for the detection of proximal caries," Oral Surg. 36, 891-897, (1973).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. R. D. Holt and M. R. Azeevedo, "Fiber optic transillumination and radiographs in diagnosis of approximal caries in primary teeth," Community Dent. Health 6, 239-247, (1989).
    [PubMed]
  5. C. M. Mitropoulis, "The use of fiber optic transillumination in the diagnosis of posterior approximal caries in clinical trials," Caries Res. 19, 379-384, (1985).
    [CrossRef]
  6. A. Peers, F. J. Hill, C. M. Mitropoulos, and P. J. Holloway, "Validity and reproducibility of clinical examination, fibre-optic transillumination, and bite-wing radiology for the diagnossis of small approximal carious lesions," Caries Res. 27, 307-311, (1993).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. C. M. Pine, "Fiber-Optic Transillumination (FOTI) in Caries Diagnosis," in Early Detection of Dental Caries, G. S. Stookey, ed., (Indiana Press, Indianapolis, Ind. 1996).
  8. J. Vaarkamp, J. J. t. Bosch, E. H. Verdonschot, and E. M. Bronkhorst, "The real performance of bitewing radiography and fiber-optic transillumination for approximal caries diagnosis," J. Dent. Res. 79, 1747-1751, (2000).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. A. Schneiderman, M. Elbaum, T. Schultz, S. Keem, M. Greenebaum, and J. Driller, "Assessment of Dental caries with Digital Imaging Fiber-Optic Transillumination (DIFOTI):In vitro Study," Caries Res. 31, 103-110, (1997).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. D. Fried, J. D. B. Featherstone, R. E. Glena, and W. Seka, "The nature of light scattering in dental enamel and dentin at visible and near-IR wavelengths," Appl. Opt. 34, 1278-1285, (1995).
    [CrossRef]
  11. R. Jones and D. Fried, "Attenuation of 1310 and 1550-nm laser light through dental enamel," in Lasers in Dentistry VIII, San Jose, Proc. SPIE 4610, 187-190 (2002).
    [CrossRef]
  12. G. M. Hale and M. R. Querry, "Optical constants of water in the 200-nm to 200-µm wavelength region," Appl. Optics 12, 555-563, (1973).
    [CrossRef]
  13. D. Spitzer and J. J. ten Bosch, "The absorption and scattering of light in bovine and human dental enamel," Calcif. Tiss. Res. 17, 129-137, (1975).
    [CrossRef]
  14. S. Keem and M. Elbaum, "Wavelet representations for monitoring changes in teeth imaged with digital imaging fiber-optic transillumination," IEEE Trans. Med. Imaging 16, 653-63, (1997).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Appl. Opt.

Calcif. Tiss. Res.

D. Spitzer and J. J. ten Bosch, "The absorption and scattering of light in bovine and human dental enamel," Calcif. Tiss. Res. 17, 129-137, (1975).
[CrossRef]

Caries Res.

C. M. Mitropoulis, "The use of fiber optic transillumination in the diagnosis of posterior approximal caries in clinical trials," Caries Res. 19, 379-384, (1985).
[CrossRef]

A. Peers, F. J. Hill, C. M. Mitropoulos, and P. J. Holloway, "Validity and reproducibility of clinical examination, fibre-optic transillumination, and bite-wing radiology for the diagnossis of small approximal carious lesions," Caries Res. 27, 307-311, (1993).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

A. Schneiderman, M. Elbaum, T. Schultz, S. Keem, M. Greenebaum, and J. Driller, "Assessment of Dental caries with Digital Imaging Fiber-Optic Transillumination (DIFOTI):In vitro Study," Caries Res. 31, 103-110, (1997).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Community Dent. Health

R. D. Holt and M. R. Azeevedo, "Fiber optic transillumination and radiographs in diagnosis of approximal caries in primary teeth," Community Dent. Health 6, 239-247, (1989).
[PubMed]

IEEE Trans. Med. Imaging

S. Keem and M. Elbaum, "Wavelet representations for monitoring changes in teeth imaged with digital imaging fiber-optic transillumination," IEEE Trans. Med. Imaging 16, 653-63, (1997).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. Dent. Res.

J. Vaarkamp, J. J. t. Bosch, E. H. Verdonschot, and E. M. Bronkhorst, "The real performance of bitewing radiography and fiber-optic transillumination for approximal caries diagnosis," J. Dent. Res. 79, 1747-1751, (2000).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Oral Surg.

J. Barenie, G. Leske, and L. W. Ripa, "The use of fiber optic transillumination for the detection of proximal caries," Oral Surg. 36, 891-897, (1973).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Proc. Finn. Dent. Soc.

J. Peltola and J. Wolf, " Fiber optics transillumination in caries diagnosis," Proc. Finn. Dent. Soc. 77, 240-244, (1981).
[PubMed]

Proc. SPIE

J. D. B. Featherstone and D. Young, "The need for new caries detection methods," Lasers in Dentistry V, San Jose, CA, Proc. SPIE 3593, 134-140 (1999).

R. Jones and D. Fried, "Attenuation of 1310 and 1550-nm laser light through dental enamel," in Lasers in Dentistry VIII, San Jose, Proc. SPIE 4610, 187-190 (2002).
[CrossRef]

Other

C. M. Pine, "Fiber-Optic Transillumination (FOTI) in Caries Diagnosis," in Early Detection of Dental Caries, G. S. Stookey, ed., (Indiana Press, Indianapolis, Ind. 1996).

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Figures (6)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

The attenuation coefficient of dental enamel (blue)[10, 11] and water (red) [12].

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Setup used for Near-Infrared Transillumination of whole teeth and tooth sections consists of a broadband light source, crossed linear polarizers, a bandpass filter and a NIR InGaAs focal plane array (FPA).

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

A) Side-view of a 3-mm thick tooth section with a simulated lesion. B) The lesion cannot be seen using transillumination with visible light and a CCD camera. C) The lesion is clearly visible under NIR transillumination D) An x-ray of the section using D-speed film indicates the small contrast difference between the simulated lesion and sound enamel. The sound enamel [e] and dentin [d] layers are distinguishable in all the projection images.

Fig 4.
Fig 4.

NIR transillumination images of tooth sections with simulated lesions are shown for each representative sample thickness. The corresponding spatial line profiles demarcated in red are shown on the inset in the lower right of each image, and the measured lesion contrast is shown in the lower left. The left axis represents the pixel intensity ranging from 0 - 4096, and the bottom axis the pixel position through the lesion.

Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

The mean ±s.d lesion contrast plotted versus the thickness of the plano-parallel enamel samples, n=5.

Fig. 6.
Fig. 6.

(2.5 MB) NIR image of a whole tooth sample. A natural carious lesion and a composite restoration are seen on the left and right, respectively. The tooth is slightly rotated to present different viewing angles. A crack is also visible in the center of the tooth.

Equations (1)

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Lesion contrast ( C ) = ( I E I L ) I E

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