• early enamel lesion;
  • hydration;
  • swept-source optical coherence tomography;
  • signal intensity


Establishing reproducible methodologies for assessment of early enamel lesions using optical coherence tomography (OCT) appears to be challenging. This in vitro study longitudinally evaluated the subsurface enamel lesion progression after 3, 9 and 15 days by cross-sectional scanning using 1310 nm centered swept-source OCT (SS-OCT) under hydrated and dry conditions. The positive difference between the depth-integrated OCT signals at dry and hydrated conditions were calculated and adopted as dehydration parameter (DH). A linear regression was found between DH and the square root of demineralization time (R2 = 0.99). Significant differences were found in DH between sound and demineralized enamel, and between different periods of demineralization (p < 0.001). Hydration state affects the reflectivity of demineralized porous enamel, and the effect can be potentially used for assessment of early enamel lesion using OCT. (© 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)