Three-dimensional terahertz pulse imaging of dental tissue

David Crawley, Michael Pepper, Vincent P. Wallace, Bryan Cole, Don Arnone, Christopher Longbottom

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    136 Citations (Scopus)


    There are unresolved clinical problems that require the provision of accurate 3-D images of tissue structures such as teeth. In particular, measurements of dental enamel thickness are necessary to quantify problems associated with enamel erosion, yet currently there is no nondestructive method to obtain this information. We present a method that relies on the use of pulsed terahertz radiation to gain 3-D information from dental tissues. We discuss results from 14 samples and demonstrate that we can reliably and accurately quantify enamel thickness. We show that in a series of 22 surfaces, we can image pertinent subsurface features 91% of the time. Example images are shown where structures in teeth at depth are rendered accurate to within 10 µm. We discuss issues that arise using this imaging method and propose ways in which it could be used in clinical practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)303-307
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


    • Biological tissues
    • Dentistry
    • Biomedical imaging
    • Terahertz pulse imaging
    • Dental tissue
    • Enamel erosion


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