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JonesRS

Research Abstracts Online
January - December 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
School of Dentistry
Department of Developmental and Surgical Sciences

PI: Robert S. Jones

Optical Coherence Tomography Secondary Caries Model

The overall objective of this research is to demonstrate that near infrared (NIR) imaging can detect and assess secondary carious lesions in primary teeth with existing composite restorations. Since NIR imaging causes no harmful ionizing radiation, it has the potential to become a method of monitoring the integrity of a restoration over time. Current techniques and technologies are severely limited at assessing the activity of secondary carious lesions in primary teeth with existing composite restorations. Thus, the decision to replace a posterior composite restoration is often based on subjective signs (e.g., marginal staining) rather than objective criteria. These researchers are using a form of NIR imaging technology known as Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). OCT can measure biological tissue, including dental hard tissue. OCT can be compared conceptually to ultrasound imaging since both techniques use an incident beam and measure a reflected or backscattered signal. Similarly, multiple OCT images are produced within seconds, which is advantageous as a clinical detection technique. OCT produces depth-resolved images (2-3 mm) through the existing composite restorations and tooth structure without regard to the morphology of the tooth. It has been shown that that OCT can clearly discriminate areas of demineralization, especially in enamel. Therefore, OCT has the potential to produce clear objective criteria for restoration replacement.

Group Members

Ruoqiong Chen, Staff
Darren Isfeld, Graduate Student
Douglas LaDue, Graduate Student
Andrew Weaver, Graduate Student