• caries detection;
  • dentistry;
  • optical coherence tomography;
  • polarization

Several studies have demonstrated the potential of cross-polarization optical coherence tomography (CP-OCT) to quantify the severity of early caries lesions (tooth decay) on tooth surfaces. The purpose of this study is to show that 2D images of the lesion depth and the integrated reflectivity can be used to accurately represent the severity of early lesions. Simulated early lesions of varying severity were produced on tooth samples using simulated lesion models. Methods were developed to convert the 3D CP-OCT images of the samples to 2D images of the lesion depth and lesion integrated reflectivity. Calculated lesion depths from OCT were compared with lesion depths measured from histological sections examined using polarized light microscopy. The 2D images of the lesion depth and integrated reflectivity are well suited for visualization of early demineralization. (© 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH &Co. KGaA, Weinheim)