Use of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) for Use of Comprehensive Intra-oral Diagnosis

Background: In dentistry there exists a pressing need for novel diagnostic modalities. A strong consensus for reducing patient exposure to ionizing radiation is countered by the absence of other non-invasive diagnostic and monitoring tools. Diagnostic options for soft tissue pathologies are also limited and inadequate. Current technologies for intra-oral diagnostics are invasive and include radiographs, clinical examination, intra-oral staining techniques and biopsy. Disadvantages to these techniques are numerous. Clinical examination provides little subsurface or non-visible pathological changes. Biopsy is invasive and does not facilitate early detection of pathology and it cannot be used for screening or frequent monitoring. Tissue staining is inaccurate and very technique-dependent. Disadvantages of radiographs include ionizing radiation and superimposition of 3-D structures in 2-D radiographic images and many clinicians have limited access to these methods. Technology: Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a comprehensive approach to non-invasive imaging, diagnostics, screening and monitoring for the entire oral cavity. Based on Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) techniques, they have developed a capability that is accurate, fast, non-invasive, repeatable if necessary and is relatively inexpensive. Accurate, ongoing evaluation of treatment effectiveness, testing of novel therapeutic modalities, and screening of high-risk populations is facilitated by these combined techniques. The fundamental principle of using reflected or polarized light for surface and subsurface tissue imaging in the oral cavity with the development of fast, accurate acquisition techniques using specific intra-oral design probes is a novel approach to intra-oral diagnostics. Application: The use of Optical Coherence Tomography techniques for intra-oral diagnostics has a variety of dental applications. The detection of dental caries and imaging for new lesions and secondary decay around or under existing restorations can be facilitated by using OCT, PS-OCT and FD-OCT. As well, detection and monitoring of demineralization, restorative and endodontic therapy can be improved with these modalities. Periodontology (detection, diagnosis, and monitoring of gingivitis and periodontitis for loss of attachment, bone loss and vascular changes) and oral medicine (detection, diagnosis of oral pathology, premalignancy and malignancy) can be improved by the use of OCT/PS-OCT, FD-OCT and ODT- imaging methods that are accurate, fast and non-invasive.

Type of Offer: Licensing

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