Imaging artificial caries under composite sealants and restorations

Robert S. Jones, Michal Staninec, Daniel Fried

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PSOCT) is used to monitor the progression of simulated caries lesions on occlusal surfaces and image the lesions underneath composite sealants. The polarization-sensitive system, recording images in both the parallel and perpendicular axes, is useful for enhancing the image contrast of the artificial caries and minimizing the interference of the strong reflections at surface interfaces. Using the perpendicular-axis signal, the mean reflectivity increase from day 0 to day 14 is 5.1 dB (p<0.01, repeated-measures analysis of variation, Tukey-Kramer). For imaging lesions underneath the sealants, the mean reflectivity of the enamel underneath 250, 500, 750, and 1000 mm of composite is calculated for demineralized and control samples. The artificial lesions can be detected under 750 mm of visibly opaque sealant, with a 5.0-dB difference from the control samples (t-test, p<0.001). Tooth colored sealants allow deeper imaging depth. The artificial lesions could be detected under 1000 mm of sealant, with a 6.6-dB difference from the control samples (t-test, p<0.001). This study demonstrates that PS-OCT can be used to track lesion progression on occlusal surfaces nondestructively with or without sealants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1297-1304
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NIH/NIDCR grants 1-R01 DE14698 and T32 DE07306-07. The authors would also like to acknowledge the contributions of John D. B. Featherstone, Charles Q. Le, and Larry G. Watanabe.


  • Composite sealants
  • Dental caries
  • Polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography


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