Send to

Choose Destination
Photomed Laser Surg. 2013 Jul;31(7):301-6. doi: 10.1089/pho.2012.3415.

Optical coherence tomography as an auxiliary tool for the screening of radiation-related caries.

Author information

Departamento de Clínica e Odontologia Preventiva, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife-PE, Brazil.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the morphological alterations of radiation-related caries using optical coherence tomography.


Thirty-six extracted teeth from 11 patients who had undergone radiotherapy were sectioned in the sagittal axis in the center of the carious lesion, and 100 μm thick sections were obtained from each specimen. One sample from each tooth was investigated by an optical coherence tomography (OCT) system, and the results were compared with histological images from polarized light microscopy.


In OCT dentin caries images, the demineralized area appeared as a white region, whereas the translucent zone appeared as a dark area, a similar pattern also seen in coronal caries. In noncavitated enamel lesions clinically observed as brown discoloration, the area of high porosity, and also the dark color, absorbs part of the light, resulting in a dark pattern. Finally, the involvement of dentin-enamel junction (DEJ) or cement-enamel junction (CEJ) could be clearly observed, when present and marked alterations along the CEJ could be noted, as junction continuity loss, gap formation, and mineral loss tissue.


The OCT technique was able to characterize radiation-related caries, from a morphological point of view. Also demonstrated was its potential benefit for use in the clinical monitoring of radiation-related carious process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center