In vitro longitudinal evaluation of enamel wear 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 journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: Enamel thickness determination by Cross-Polarization Optical Coherence Tomography (CP-OCT) is a promising approach for quantitative monitoring of tooth wear progression. This study evaluated the ability of CP-OCT to quantify the thickness of natural enamel before, during and after tooth wear simulation. Materials and Methods: Natural, unpolished human dental enamel slabs were submitted to five wear stages (Wear 1: to level the surfaces; Wear 2 to Wear 5: 0.05 ± 0.02 mm reduction each) simulated by an automatic grinding/polishing machine. Enamel thickness was evaluated with CP-OCT and a gold-standard method (micro-CT) at baseline and after every wear stage. Data were analyzed using ANOVA with pairwise comparisons for wear stages’ impact on the thickness and wear depth measurements. The inter-method agreement was analyzed using intra-class correlation coefficients, the difference between means, and Bland-Altman plots. Results: Enamel thickness measurements (mean ± standard error, in mm) with natural (1.40 ± 0.05) and worn surfaces (1.08 ± 0.02) by CP-OCT did not differ significantly from those measured by micro-CT (natural = 1.39 ± 0.05; worn = 1.09 ± 0.02; p-values = 0.30 and 0.39, respectively). CP-OCT and micro-CT showed excellent agreement on natural (ICC = 0.98) and worn surfaces (ICC = 0.98) enamel thickness measurements. Among and between wear stages, there were significant differences in enamel thickness and wear depth measurements for both methods (p-value <0.0001 for all). Both methods yielded similar measurements’ mean (0.14 ± 0.01; p-value = 0.87) and were in good agreement (ICC = 0.77) for wear depth estimation. Significance: CP-OCT allows accurate measurement of enamel thickness on natural tooth surfaces. Enamel thickness measurement by CP-OCT allows quantitative monitoring of enamel thickness changes and wear depth following progressive wear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1464-1470
Number of pages7
JournalDental Materials
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Dental enamel
  • Enamel thickness
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Tooth wear
  • X-Ray Micro-CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Dentistry(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials

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