Assessment of a procedure for detecting minute levels of tooth erosion

Harvey L. Mitchell (Lead / Corresponding author), R. G. Chadwick, S. Ward, S. L. Manton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Over a period of some years, the components of a system for discerning erosion on children's teeth have been progressively developed, for use in an extensive project seeking correlations between erosion and various perceived risk factors. The aim was the detection of minute levels of erosion, based on mappings of the palatal surfaces of the maxillary central incisors in children. Significant challenges were encountered, the primary problem being the impracticality of placing control marks that would aid the realignment of successive measurements. The paper describes the erosion detection system and initial experiences based on the results of the first 100 subjects measured after 9 months. The procedures detected the occurrence of erosion of 50 μm magnitude on about one-quarter of the teeth over the 9 month period, at a precision estimated to be ± 15 μm. The occurrence of some anomalous incidents prevented the procedure from being fully automatic, and it necessitated human examination of a graphical diagram derived from the surface matching program, but it was nevertheless superior to current practices of examining impressions or replicas entirely by eye.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-469
Number of pages6
JournalMedical and Biological Engineering and Computing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003


  • Dentistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Surface registration
  • Tooth measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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