Potential uses of TeraHertz Pulse Imaging in dentistry: Caries and erosion detection

Chris Longbottom, David Crawley, Bryan E. Cole, Don D. Arnone, Vince Wallace, Michael Pepper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


TeraHertz Pulse Imaging (TPI) is a relatively new imaging modality for medical and dental imaging. The aim of the present study was to make a preliminary assessment of the potential uses of TPI in clinical dentistry, particularly in relation to caries detection and the detection and monitoring of erosion. Images were obtained in vitro using a new TPI system developed by TeraView Ltd. We present data showing that TPI in vitro images of approximal surfaces of whole teeth demonstrate a distinctive ’shadowing’ in the presence of natural carious lesions in enamel. The thickness of this enamel shadowing appears to be related to lesion depth. The use of non-ionising radiation to image such lesions non-destructively in vitro represents a significant step towards such measurements in vivo. In addition, data is presented which indicates that TPI may have a potential role in the detection and monitoring of enamel erosion. In vitro experiments on whole incisor teeth show that TPI is capable of detecting relatively small artificially induced changes in the buccal or palatal surface of the enamel of these teeth. Imaging of enamel thickness at such a resolution without ionising radiation would represent a significant breakthrough if applicable in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-112
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2002
Externally publishedYes


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