Development of a hand-held probe for dental diagnostics by optical coherence tomography (OCT)
Control of dental fillings
The ultimate goal of a dental treatment is the oral health with the greatest possible protection of the tooth substance. Therefore, a modern caries management is necessary, which includes innovation visualization of dental hard tissues in order to detect carious lesions in the initial state, to stabilize existing defects and to avoid new lesions.
Just as important as the prevention and non-invasive treatment and monitoring of early carious lesions are the evaluation and monitoring of restorations. In particular, the assessment of the tooth-composite and the detection of early carious lesions as well as the assessment caries at restoration margin are currently only possible to a limited extent. Suspicion or caries at restoration margin are the most common causes for replacing a filling. In addition, bacteria can migrate into a marginal gap (space between cavity and filling) and cause carious changes.
Construction of a hand-held intraoral OCT application probe
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has a high potential for “intraoral-diagnostic” in dentistry. The OCT works non-invasively and shows 2D and 3D visualization of tooth structures up to a depth of 3 mm. In the field of OCT technology, the MLL works closely together with the Institute of Biomedical Optics at the University of Lübeck
Within the funding period from April 2016 to September 2018 of a ZIM cooperation of the AiF the Medical Laser Center Lübeck (MLL) realized a hand-held intraoral OCT application probe, which can be connected to a commercially available OCT system of the Thorlabs GmbH. The dental examinations were carried out by the cooperation partner of the Department of Cariology, Endodontology and Periodontology at the University Hospital Leipzig (AÖR). Their analysis shows that OCT technology can be integrated in the workflow of dental examinations. The project was carried out with the industrial partner Orange Dental.
The realization of the intraoral OCT probe has been awarded with the “Dental Innovation Award 2018” by the Foundation Innovative Dentistry in the category Innovative Idea / Invention.
This work was funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy