3D imaging of proximal caries in posterior teeth using optical coherence tomography

Sci Rep. 2020 Sep 25;10(1):15754. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-72838-2.


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) can create cross-sectional images of tooth without X-ray exposure. This study aimed to investigate the diagnostic accuracy of 3D imaging of OCT for proximal caries in posterior teeth. Thirty-six human molar teeth with 51 proximal surfaces visibly 6 intact, 16 slightly demineralized, and 29 distinct carious changes were mounted to take digital radiographs and 3D OCT images. The sensitivity, specificity and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) for the diagnosis of enamel caries and dentin caries were calculated to quantify the diagnostic ability of 3D OCT in comparison with digital radiography. Diagnostic accuracy was evaluated by the agreement with histology using weighted Kappa. OCT showed significantly higher sensitivity, AUC and Kappa values than radiography. OCT can be a safer option for the diagnosis of proximal caries in posterior teeth that can be applied to the patients without X-ray exposure.

MeSH terms

  • Dental Caries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Molar / diagnostic imaging*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence*