Quantitative Swept-Source Optical Coherence Tomography of Early Enamel Erosion in vivo

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Abstract

Swept-source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) shows potential for the in vivo quantitative evaluation of micro-structural enamel surface phenomena occurring during early erosive demineralization. This randomized controlled single-blind cross-over clinical study aimed to evaluate the use of SS-OCT for detecting optical changes in the enamel of 30 healthy volunteers subjected to orange juice rinsing (erosive challenge) in comparison to mineral water rinsing (control), according to wiped and non-wiped enamel surface states. Participants were randomly allocated to 60 min of orange juice rinsing (pH 3.8) followed by 60 min of water rinsing (pH 6.7) and vice versa, with a 2-week wash-out period. In addition, the labial surfaces of the right or left maxillary incisors were wiped prior to SS-OCT imaging. An automated ImageJ algorithm was designed to analyse the back-scattered OCT signal intensity (D) after orange juice rinsing compared to after water rinsing. D was quantified as the OCT signal scattering from the 33 µm sub-surface enamel, normalised by the total OCT signal intensity entering the enamel. The back-scattered OCT signal intensity increased by 3.1% (95% CI 1.1-5.1%) in the wiped incisors and by 3.5% (95% CI 1.5-5.5%) in the unwiped incisors (p < 0.0001). Wiping reduced the back-scattered OCT signal intensity by 1.7% (95% CI -3.2 to -0.3%; p = 0.02) in comparison to the unwiped enamel surfaces for both rinsing solutions (p = 0.2). SS-OCT detected OCT signal changes in the superficial sub-surface enamel of maxillary central incisor teeth of healthy volunteers after orange juice rinsing.

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