In vivo and in vitro studies have demonstrated that near-infrared (NIR) light at λ=1300-1700-nm can be used to acquire high contrast images of enamel demineralization without interference of stains. The objective of this study was to determine if a relationship exists between the NIR image contrast of occlusal lesions and the depth of the lesion. Extracted teeth with varying amounts of natural occlusal decay were measured using a multispectral-multimodal NIR imaging system which captures λ=1300-nm occlusal transillumination, and λ=1500-1700-nm cross-polarized reflectance images. Image analysis software was used to calculate the lesion contrast detected in both images from matched positions of each imaging modality. Samples were serially sectioned across the lesion with a precision saw, and polarized light microscopy was used to measure the respective lesion depth relative to the dentinoenamel junction. Lesion contrast measured from NIR crosspolarized reflectance images positively correlated (p<0.05) with increasing lesion depth and a statistically significant difference between inner enamel and dentin lesions was observed. The lateral width of pit and fissures lesions measured in both NIR cross-polarized reflectance and NIR transillumination positively correlated with lesion depth.
Jacob C. Simon, Donald A. Curtis, Cynthia L. Darling, and Daniel Fried, "Multispectral near-infrared reflectance and transillumination imaging of occlusal carious lesions: variations in lesion contrast with lesion depth ," Proc. SPIE 10473, Lasers in Dentistry XXIV, 1047305 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 28, 2018; Published: 8 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2296013.
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