Raman spectroscopy using a hollow optical fiber probe with a glass ball lens at the distal end is proposed for detection of early caries lesions. Raman spectroscopy on carious lesions of extracted teeth showed that the probe enables measurement with a high signal-to-noise ratio when combined with a ball lens with a high refractive index. The proposed probe and lens combination detects changes in Raman spectra caused by morphological differences between sound and carious enamel. We also obtained a high-contrast image of an early carious lesion by scanning the tooth surface with the probe.
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