Quantification of root caries using optical coherence tomography and microradiography: A correlational study

Bennett T. Amaechi, Adrian Gh Podoleanu, Gleb Komarov, Susan M. Higham, David A. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Purpose: The use of transverse microradiography (TMR) to quantify the amount of mineral lost during demineralization of tooth tissue has long been established. In the present study, the use of an en-face Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) technology to detect and quantitatively monitor the mineral changes in root caries was investigated and correlated with TMR. Materials and Methods: We used an OCT system, developed initially for retina imaging, and which can collect A-scans, B-scans (longitudinal images) and C-scans (en-face images) to quantitatively assess the development of root caries. The power to the sample was 250 μW, wavelength λ = 850 nm and the optical source linewidth was 16 μm. Results: Both the transversal and longitudinal images showed the caries lesion as volumes of reduced reflectivity. Quantitative analysis using the A-scan (reflectivity versus depth curve) showed that the tissue reflectivity decreased with increasing demineralization time. A linear correlation (r = 0.957) was observed between the mineral loss measured by TMR and the percentage reflectivity loss in demineralized tissue measured by OCT. Conclusion: We concluded that OCT could be used to detect incipient root caries, and that the reflectivity loss in root tissue during demineralization, measured by OCT, could be related to the amount of mineral lost during the demineralization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-382
Number of pages6
JournalOral Health and Preventive Dentistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2004


  • Confocal imaging
  • Dentin caries
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Quantitative transverse microradiography
  • Root caries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dental Hygiene


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