Impact of surface micromorphology and demineralization severity on enamel loss measurements by cross-polarization optical coherence tomography

Maryam A. Alghilan, Frank Lippert, Jeffrey A. Platt, George J. Eckert, Carlos González-Cabezas, Daniel Fried, Anderson T. Hara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: Optical Coherence tomography (OCT) is a promising clinical imaging technology for quantitative and objective assessment of dental erosion. We aimed to determine the influence of enamel surface roughness and demineralization severity (by erosive challenge) on dental surface loss measurements by cross-polarization OCT (CP-OCT). Materials and methods: Human enamel specimens were prepared with three surface roughness levels (very rough, rough and polished; n = 10 each). They were evaluated using CP-OCT and optical profilometry (gold standard) at baseline, and after 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 16 and 24 h of erosion demineralization. The effects of roughness and demineralization on enamel loss were analyzed using ANOVA (alpha = 0.05). Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) and Bland-Altman plots were used to evaluate inter-method agreement and intra-examiner repeatability. Results: CP-OCT surface loss measurements did not significantly differ with the changes in enamel surface roughness (p = 0.27). Among demineralization severities, CP-OCT surface loss measurements at 1, 2, 4 and 8 h did not differ among each other, but they showed significantly lower enamel loss than 16 and 24 h; 6 and 16 h were significantly lower than 24 h (p < 0.05). Overall, CP-OCT and optical profilometry measurements did not differ (p = 0.73); however, ICC was relatively low (ICC = 0.34). Enamel loss estimation by CP-OCT presented an error of approximately ± 150 μm compared to profilometry. Intra-examiner repeatability with CP-OCT was excellent (ICC = 0.98). Conclusions: Enamel roughness did not affect CP-OCT measurements. The estimated error of CP-OCT measurements limited the appropriate assessment of enamel erosion surface loss, in the magnitude simulated in this study. Clinical relevance: Enamel thickness measurement by CP-OCT presents potential as an objective method for monitoring dental erosion lesions; however, its use may be limited for the assessment of the initial stages of enamel surface loss by erosion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-58
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Dentistry
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • Demineralization
  • Dental erosion
  • Enamel
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Surface roughness
  • Tooth wear

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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