Versatile optical coherence tomography system applied for imaging of teeth

Bennett T. Amaechi, Adrian Gh Podoleanu, John A. Rogers, Susan M. Higham, Shane Dunne, David A. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The utility of a versatile multifunctional standalone Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)/confocal system for imaging dental tissue was investigated. The system can collect A-scan (reflectivity versus depth graph), longitudinal (B-scan) and en-face (C-scan) OCT images, simultaneously with a confocal image. The power to the sample was 250 μW, wavelength λ= 850 nm and the depth resolution in air was 16 μm. The OCT images showed caries lesions as volumes of reduced reflectivity. Transversal images (C-scan) showed the en-face slices of the tooth tissue like in confocal microscopy. Longitudinal images showed the depth of the lesion into the tooth tissue as well as the different structural layers of sound tooth in the same way as seen in ultrasound images. A-scans preformed in locations selected in the en-face images provided quantitative data about the reflectivity versus depth. The confocal channel was extremely useful for guidance and it has also shown the integral of the intensity over depth at transversal locations. We concluded that OCT proved capable to detect an early caries lesion, to show the depth of the lesion into the tissue, and quantitatively assess the degree of demineralisation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-186
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 14 2002


  • Caries diagnosis
  • Confocal imaging
  • Demineralisation
  • Dental caries
  • Dental imaging
  • Enamel
  • Low coherence interferometry
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Optical methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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