Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a noninvasive method for imaging dental microstructure which has the
potential of evaluating the health of periodontal tissue. OCT provides an "optical biopsy" of tissue 2-3 mm in depth.
Optical biopsy is a measurement of the localized optical properties based on tissue type and pathology. This sixth
modality of imaging was pioneered at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. OCT is based on the optical scattering
signatures within tissue structure. With the use of a broad spectrum bandwidth light source, high resolution images, 10
times the resolution of radiographs, can detect important tissue interfaces within the periodontal sulcus and its'
relationship to the attachment apparatus of the tooth. Multiple cross-sectional tomograms can be stacked to create two
and three dimensional images providing information as to health of periodontal tissue important to both the clinician and researcher.