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.
Bibliographical noteFunding 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