Aim and objectives. The morphology and position of the temporo-mandibular disc are key issues in the diagnosis and
treatment of arthrogenous temporo-mandibular disorders. Magnetic resonance imaging and arthroscopy are used today to
identify: flattening of the pars posterior of the disc, perforation and/or adhesions in the pars intermedia of the disc and disc
displacements. The present study proposes the investigation of the temporo-mandibular joint disc by optical coherence
Material and methods. 8 human temporo-mandibular joint discs were harvested from dead subjects, under 40 year of age,
and conserved in formalin. They had a normal morphology, with a thicker pars posterior (2,6 mm on the average) and a
thinner pars intermedia (1mm on the average). We investigated the disc samples using two different OCT systems: an
en-face OCT (time domain (TD)-OCT) system, working at 1300 nm (C-scan and B-scan mode) and a spectral OCT system
(a Fourier domain (FD)-OCT) system , working at 840 nm (B-scan mode).
Results. The OCT investigation of the temporo-mandibular joint discs revealed a homogeneous microstructure. The longer
wavelength of the TD-OCT offers a higher penetration depth (2,5 mm in air), which is important for the analysis of the pars
posterior, while the FD-OCT is much faster.
Conclusions: OCT is a promising imaging method for the microstructural characterization of the temporo-mandibular