1. Local axis orientation mapped by polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography provides a unique contrast to identify caries lesions in enamel

    Local axis orientation mapped by polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography provides a unique contrast to identify caries lesions in enamel

    Due to rod-like hydroxyapatite crystal organizations, dental enamel is optically anisotropic, i.e., birefringent. Healthy enamel is known to be intrinsically negatively birefringent. However, when demineralization of enamel occurs, a considerable number of inter-crystallite spaces would be created between the crystallites in the enamel, which could lead to a sign reversion in birefringence of the enamel structure. We propose that this sign reversion can be leveraged in polarization sensitive OCT (PSOCT) imaging to differentiate early caries lesions from healthy enamel. In this study using PSOCT, we first confirm that the change in birefringence sign (negative to positive) can lead to ...

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