Optical approach for monitoring the periodontal ligament changes induced by orthodontic forces around maxillary anterior teeth of white rats

  • Jihoon Na
  • Byeong Ha LeeEmail author
  • Jae Ho Baek
  • Eun Seo Choi
Original Article


Structural variations of the periodontal ligament (PDL) induced by orthodontic forces have been evaluated by optical coherence tomography (OCT) and compared to images obtained by conventional radiography. Here, two specially designed orthodontic appliances were installed on the maxillary anterior teeth of white rats for applying different magnitudes of orthodontic forces. Constant distraction force magnitudes of 0, 5, 10, and 30 gf were given to four respective rats over a period of 5 days. At the end of the treatment period, the rats were sacrificed and the maxillaries were extracted for X-ray and OCT imaging. The PDL variations, proportional to the force magnitude, were clearly indicated in the OCT measurements. The OCT images further showed that the ligament was torn for a constant orthodontic force of 30 gf. These results support the clinical dental application of OCT for monitoring the ligament changes during orthodontic procedures. The real-time imaging capability of OCT, together with its high resolution, has the potential to help dentists with in vivo orthodontic treatments in human subjects as well.


Optical coherence tomography Periodontal ligament Periodontium Dentistry Medical optics instrument Clinical application 



Optical coherence tomography


Periodontal ligament





This work was supported in part by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy of Korea through the Industrial Technology Infrastructure Building Program and by the Advanced Technology Center (ATC) project of the Ministry of Commerce Industry and Energy (MOCIE).


  1. 1.
    Avery JK, Steele PF (2000) Essentials of oral histology and embryology: a clinical approach, 2nd edn. Mosby, St Louis, pp 133–143Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Böhl MV, Maltha J, den Hoff HV, Kuijpers-Jagtman AM (2004) Changes in the periodontal ligament after experimental tooth movement using high and low continuous forces in beagle dogs. Angle Orthod 74:16–25Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ciancio SC, Neiders ME, Hazen SP (1967) The principal fibers of the periodontal ligament. Periodontics 5:76–81Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Colston BW Jr, Sathyam US, Silva LBD et al (1998) Dental OCT. Opt Express 6:230–238Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Choma MA, Sarunic MV, Yang C, Izatt JA (2003) Sensitivity advantage of swept source and Fourier domain optical coherence tomography. Opt Express 11:2183–2189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    de Boer JF, Milner TE, Van Gemert MJC, Nelson JS (1997) Two-dimensional birefringence imaging in biological tissue by polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography. Opt Lett 22:934–936CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    de Boer JF, Cense B, Park BH et al (2003) Improved signal to noise ratio in spectral domain compared with time domain optical coherence tomography. Opt Lett 28:2067–2069CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Feldchtein FI, Gelikonov GV, Gelikonov VM et al (1998) In vivo OCT imaging of hard and soft tissue of the oral cavity. Opt Express 3:239–250Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Feldchtein FI, Gelikonov GV, Gelikonov VM et al (1998) Endoscopic applications of optical coherence tomography. Opt Express 3:257–270Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fujimoto JG (2003) Optical coherence tomography for ultrahigh resolution in vivo imaging. Nat Biotechnol 21:1361–1367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Huang D, Swanson EA, Lin CP et al (1991) Optical coherence tomography. Science 254:1178–1181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hee MR, Huang D, Swanson EA, Fujimoto JG (1992) Polarization-sensitive low-coherence reflectometer for birefringence characterization and ranging. J Opt Soc Am B 9:903–908Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Khouw FE, Goldhaber P (1970) Changes in vasculature of the periodontium associated with tooth movement in the rhesus monkey and dog. Arch Oral Biol 15:1125–1132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Otis LL, Everett MJ, Sathyam US, Colston BW Jr (2000) Optical coherence tomography—a new imaging technology for dentistry. J Am Dent Assoc 131:511–514Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Podoleanu AG, Rogers JA, Jackson DA, Dunne S (2000) Three dimensional OCT images from retina and skin. Opt Express 7:292–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Pasquesi JJ, Schlachter SC, Boppart MD et al (2005) In vivo detection of exercise-induced ultrastructural changes in genetically-altered murine skeletal muscle using polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography. Opt Express 14:1547–1556Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Rygh P, Reitan K (1972) Ultrastructural changes in the periodontal ligament incident to orthodontic tooth movement. Trans Eur Orthod Soc 1972:393–405Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ren Y, Maltha JC, Kuijpers-Jagtman AM (2003) Optimum force magnitude for orthodontic tooth movement: a systematic literature review. Angle Orthod 73:86–92Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ren Y, Maltha JC, Kuijpers-Jagtman AM (2004) The rat as a model for orthodontic tooth movement-a critical review and a proposed solution. Eur J Orthod 26:483–490CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Schuman JS, Puliafito CA, Fujimoto JG (2004) Optical coherence tomography of ocular diseases. Slack, ThorofareGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Tearney GJ, Brezinski ME, Southern JF et al (1997) Optical biopsy in human urologic tissue using optical coherence tomography. J Urol 157:1915–1919CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Tumlinson AR, Barton JK, Považay B et al (2006) Endoscope-tip interferometer for ultrahigh resolution frequency domain optical coherence tomography in mouse colon. Opt Express 14:1878–1887CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Wennstrom JL, Lindhe J, Sinclair F, Thilander B (1987) Some periodontal tissue reactions to orthodontic tooth movement in monkeys. J Clin Periodontol 14:121–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Wang XJ, Milner TE, de Boer JF et al (1999) Characterization of dentin and enamel by use of optical coherence tomography. Appl Optics 38:2092–2096CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Wojtkowski M, Srinivasan V, Fujimoto JG et al (2005) Three-dimensional retinal imaging with high-speed ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography. Ophthalmology 112:1734–1746CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Zeichner SJ, Ruttimann UE, Webber RL (1987) Dental radiography: efficacy in the assessment of intraosseous lesions of the face and jaws in asymptomatic patients. Radiology 162:691–695Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jihoon Na
    • 1
  • Byeong Ha Lee
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jae Ho Baek
    • 2
  • Eun Seo Choi
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Information and CommunicationsGwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST)GwangjuSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Orthodontics, Division of DentistryUlsan University Hospital UlsanSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of PhysicsChosun UniversityGwangjuSouth Korea

Personalised recommendations