A Study of the Potential to Detect Caries Lesions at the White-Spot Stage Using V(Z) Technique
Current wide-spread methods of non-destructive methods of caries diagnostics, such as X-ray techniques, do not provide the possibility to efficiently detect enamel caries lesions at the beginning (“white-spot”) stage, when the tooth tissue is only slightly altered and no loss of the tissue occurs. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to develop new, more sensitive methods of caries diagnostics. In this paper, certain aspects of the ultrasonic approach to the problem are discussed - in particular, detection of the enamel’s surface caries at the white-spot stage with a focused ultrasonic sensor positioned in front of the caries lesion (without cross-sectioning the tooth). Theoretical model using V(z) approach for layered media was applied to perform computer simulations resulting in V(z) curves for the different parameters of carious tissue and the degree of degradation. The curves were analyzed and it was shown that, comparing to a short-pulse/echo technique, V(z) approach provides much better distinction between sound and carious enamel and even makes possible to evaluate the degree of demineralization.
Key wordsWhite-spot caries Ultrasound v(z)
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