July 7, 2008--Lantis Laser, the only commercial developer of optical coherence tomography (OCT) for dental applications, is initially targeting its Dental OCT System for use in the early detection of tooth decay, secondary decay under and around fillings, root surface decay and decay under sealants. However, new studies indicate that the Lantis OCT Dental Imaging System could be deployed for many more dental applications than originally envisaged.
A study appearing in the June 2008 Journal of Endodontics by researchers from the Academic Center for Dentistry (Amsterdam, Holland) demonstrated the viability of using OCT in root canal therapy for detecting root fractures before filling the canal. According to the researchers, OCT is a promising method for non-destructive imaging of the root surfaces.
Earlier published research by the same group showed that OCT could detect perforations and other possible defects that could affect a successful outcome of root canal therapy. Dentists have never been able to obtain this information by any other means.
Application in orthodontics have been indicated relating to the detection of early demineralization, the precursor to decay, using OCT. Orthodontic treatment requires patient compliance to achieve optimum levels of oral hygiene, particularly around brackets. OCT can detect early demineralization, a sign that the patient may need special attention to ensure that "white spots" on teeth do not detract from successful treatment. A recent publication by Cosmin Sinescu et al in Int. Soc. Opt Eng. ( May 2008) showed how using OCT to examine the outcome of different bracket bonding materials and procedures could affect stability of bracket retention and minimize failures.
Stan Baron, President & CEO of Lantis, commented that, "The more applications OCT can be used for, the more dentists would find it indispensable and this would, of course, accelerate the rate of adoption of dental OCT and the market penetration."
Lantis Laser has exclusive worldwide rights for OCT technology in the $5 billion dental equipment industry. The technology, which was developed at MIT, is considered the next generation in medical imaging.