2018 Volume 60 Issue 3 Pages 418-427
This study evaluated the effectiveness of swept-source optical coherence tomography (ss-OCT) for detecting calculus and root cementum during periodontal therapy. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) images were taken before and after removal of subgingival calculus from extracted teeth and compared with non-decalcified histological sections. Porcine gingival sheets of various thicknesses were applied to the root surfaces of extracted teeth with calculus and OCT images were taken. OCT images were also taken before and after scaling and root planing (SRP) in human patients. In vitro, calculus was clearly detected as a white-gray amorphous structure on the root surface, which disappeared after removal. Cementum was identified as a thin, dark-gray layer. The calculus could not be clearly observed when soft tissues were present on the root surface. Clinically, supragingival calculus and cementum could be detected clearly with OCT, and subgingival calculus in the buccal cervical area of the anterior and premolar teeth was identified, which disappeared after SRP. Digital processing of the original OCT images was useful for clarifying the calculus. In conclusion, ss-OCT showed potential as a periodontal diagnostic tool for detecting cementum and subgingival calculus, although the practical applications of subgingival imaging remain limited.