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Article: Volume 41 Number 2 Page 174 - March 2014

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  Dent Update 2014; 41: 174-180

Optical Technology:  An Update on Optical Coherence Tomography in Dentistry

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Abstract: An update and overview of the use of optical coherence tomography (OCT) in dentistry is described. Specific aspects discussed include the evolution of the technology and the basic process of light beam interference used to obtain OCT images. In addition, aspects of the optical properties of dentine and enamel and the range of current diagnostic applications of OCT in dentistry are reviewed.

Clinical relevance: The technique of optical coherence tomography is considered to be significant since the technology involved allows imaging using light to around 2–3 mm in teeth and can, for example, allow the extent and progression of carious lesions to be determined.

Author notes: D McG Clarkson, BSc, MPhil, PhD, Development and Quality Manager, Department of Clinical Physics and Bioengineering, FM Building, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Coventry CV2 2DX, UK.

Objective: To understand the basic techniques of image generation using optical coherence tomography and the principal clinical applications of this imaging technology.