Remineralization of enamel caries can decrease optical reflectivity

R. S. Jones, D. Fried

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


The remineralization of enamel caries can lead to distinct optical changes within a lesion. We hypothesized that the restoration of mineral volume would result in a measurable decrease in the depth-resolved reflectivity of polarized light from the lesion. To test this hypothesis, we measured optical changes in artificial caries undergoing remineralization as a function of depth, using Polarization-sensitive Optical Coherence Tomography (PS-OCT). Lesions were imaged non-destructively before and after exposure to a remineralization regimen. After imaging, microradiographs of histological thin sections indicated that the significant reflectivity reduction measured by PS-OCT accurately represented the increase in mineral content within a larger repaired surface zone. Mineral volume changes arising from remineralization can be measured on the basis of the optical reflectivity of the lesion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)804-808
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NIH/NIDCR R01 DE14698/T32 DE07306. The authors gratefully acknowledge the contributions of Cynthia Darling and John Featherstone.


  • Artificial caries
  • Diagnostic systems
  • Early caries
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Polarization
  • Remineralization


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