Wide-field Raman imaging of dental lesions

Analyst. 2014 Jun 21;139(12):3107-14. doi: 10.1039/c4an00164h. Epub 2014 Apr 30.


Detection of dental caries at the onset remains as a great challenge in dentistry. Raman spectroscopy could be successfully applied towards detecting caries since it is sensitive to the amount of Raman active mineral crystals, the most abundant component of enamel. Effective diagnosis requires full examination of a tooth surface via Raman mapping. Point-scan Raman mapping is not clinically relevant (feasible) due to lengthy data acquisition time. In this work, a wide-field Raman imaging system was assembled based on a high-sensitivity 2D CCD camera for imaging the mineralization status of teeth with lesions. Wide-field images indicated some lesions to be hypomineralized and others to be hypermineralized. The observations of wide-field Raman imaging were in agreement with point-scan Raman mapping. Therefore, sound enamel and lesions can be discriminated by Raman imaging of the mineral content. In conclusion, wide-field Raman imaging is a potentially useful tool for visualization of dental lesions in the clinic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Dental Caries / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman / methods*