Journal of Conservative Dentistry
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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 63-70

Fiber optic backscatter spectroscopic sensor to monitor enamel demineralization and remineralization in vitro

Department of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, National University of Singapore, Republic of Singapore, Singapore

Correspondence Address:
Anil Kishen
Department of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, National University of Singapore, National University Hospital, 5 Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119704
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-0707.44053

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In this study, a Fiber Optic Backscatter Spectroscopic Sensor (FOBSS) is used to monitor demineralization and remineralization induced changes in the enamel. A bifurcated fiber optic backscatter probe connected to a visible light source and a high resolution spectrophotometer was used to acquire the backscatter light spectrum from the tooth surface. The experiments were conducted in two parts. In Part 1, experiments were carried out using fiber optic backscatter spectroscopy on (1) sound enamel and dentine sections and (2) sound tooth specimens subjected to demineralization and remineralization. In Part 2, polarization microscopy was conducted to examine the depth of demineralization in tooth specimens. The enamel and dentine specimens from the Part-1 experiments showed distinct backscatter spectra. The spectrum obtained from the enamel-dentine combination and the spectrum generated from the average of the enamel and dentine spectral values were closely similar and showed characteristics of dentine. The experiments in Part 2 showed that demineralization and remineralization processes induced a linear decrease and linear increase in the backscatter light intensity respectively. A negative correlation between the decrease in the backscatter light intensity during demineralization and the depth of demineralization determined using the polarization microscopy was calculated to be p = -0.994. This in vitro experiment highlights the potential benefit of using FOBSS to detect demineralization and remineralization of enamel.

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