Terahertz for Oral Healthcare Applications
TeraView’s Terahertz Pulsed Imaging (TPI™) is able to distinguish between the different types of tissue in a human tooth; detect caries at an early stage in the enamel layers of human teeth and monitor early erosion of the enamel at the surface of the tooth.
Dental Caries, or tooth decay, is one of the most common human disorders. Caries is inititated as localized destruction of the outside layer of a tooth called the enamel. Acids in the plaque deposits adhering to teeth cause erosion, known as dimineralization. Caries proceeds by the creation of a subsurface lesion in the enamel. The lesion may extend to the next tissue layer in teeth, the dentine, without macroscopically visible breakdown or even microcavity formation at the tooth surface.
The absence of visual features on the tooth surface makes early detection of tooth decay difficult. X-rays, one of the accepted methods used to detect decay, only reveals the problem at a relatively late stage, when drilling and filling is the only method available to halt the decay. If decay can be detected early enough it is possible to reverse the process without the need for drilling by the use of either fissure sealing or remineralization.
The advantages of the system iclude: