Detection of occlusal caries in primary teeth using swept source optical coherence tomography

Yukie Nakajima, Yasushi Shimada, Alireza Sadr, Ikumi Wada, Michiyo Miyashin, Yuzo Takagi, Junji Tagami, Yasunori Sumi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to investigate swept source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) as a detecting tool for occlusal caries in primary teeth. At the in vitro part of the study, 38 investigation sites of occlusal fissures (noncavitated and cavitated) were selected from 26 extracted primary teeth and inspected visually using conventional dental equipment by six examiners without any magnification. SS-OCT cross-sectional images at 1330-nm center wavelength were acquired on the same locations. The teeth were then sectioned at the investigation site and directly viewed under a confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM) by two experienced examiners. The presence and extent of caries were scored in each observation. The results obtained from SS-OCT and conventional visual inspections were compared with those of CLSM. Consequently, SS-OCT could successfully detect both cavitated and noncavitated lesions. The magnitude of sensitivity for SS-OCT was higher than those for visual inspection (sensitivity of visual inspection and SS-OCT, 0.70 versus 0.93 for enamel demineralization, 0.49 versus 0.89 for enamel cavitated caries, and 0.36 versus 0.75 for dentin caries). Additionally, occlusal caries of a few clinical cases were observed using SS-OCT in vivo. The results indicate that SS-OCT has a great detecting potential for occlusal caries in primary teeth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number016020
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Detection
  • Occlusal caries
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Primary teeth
  • Sensitivity
  • Specificity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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