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Int J Dent. 2010;2010:879252. doi: 10.1155/2010/879252. Epub 2010 Jun 20.

Determining the effect of calculus, hypocalcification, and stain on using optical coherence tomography and polarized Raman spectroscopy for detecting white spot lesions.

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  • 1Faculty of Dentistry, University of Manitoba, 780 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3E 0W2.


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) and polarized Raman spectroscopy (PRS) have been shown as useful methods for distinguishing sound enamel from carious lesions ex vivo. However, factors in the oral environment such as calculus, hypocalcification, and stain could lead to false-positive results. OCT and PRS were used to investigate extracted human teeth clinically examined for sound enamel, white spot lesion (WSL), calculus, hypocalcification, and stain to determine whether these factors would confound WSL detection with these optical methods. Results indicate that OCT allowed differentiating caries from sound enamel, hypocalcification, and stain, with calculus deposits recognizable on OCT images. ANOVA and post-hoc unequal N HSD analyses to compare the mean Raman depolarization ratios from the various groups showed that the mean values were statistically significant at P < .05, except for several comparison pairs. With the current PRS analysis method, the mean depolarization ratios of stained enamel and caries are not significantly different due to the sloping background in the stained enamel spectra. Overall, calculus and hypocalcification are not confounding factors affecting WSL detection using OCT and PRS. Stain does not influence WSL detection with OCT. Improved PRS analysis methods are needed to differentiate carious from stained enamel.

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