Purpose: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a noninvasive diagnostic technique that may be useful for both qualitative and quantitative analyses of the periodontium. Micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) is another noninvasive imaging technique capable of providing submicron spatial resolution. The purpose of this study was to present periodontal images obtained using ex vivo dental OCT and to compare OCT images with micro-CT images and histologic sections. Methods: Images of ex vivo canine periodontal structures were obtained using OCT. Biologic depth measurements made using OCT were compared to measurements made on histologic sections prepared from the same sites. Visual comparisons were made among OCT, micro-CT, and histologic sections to evaluate whether anatomical details were accurately revealed by OCT. Results: The periodontal tissue contour, gingival sulcus, and the presence of supragingival and subgingival calculus could be visualized using OCT. OCT was able to depict the surface topography of the dentogingival complex with higher resolution than micro-CT, but the imaging depth was typically limited to 1.2-1.5 mm. Biologic depth measurements made using OCT were a mean of 0.51 mm shallower than the histologic measurements. Conclusions: Dental OCT as used in this study was able to generate high-resolution, cross-sectional images of the superficial portions of periodontal structures. Improvements in imaging depth and the development of an intraoral sensor are likely to make OCT a useful technique for periodontal applications.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Oral Surgery