Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Dentistry Clinic Director, Dr. Blaine Cleghorn and Lin-P’ing Choo-Smith (NRC-IBD) are the Principle Investigators in a research team that consists of members from the National Research Council-Institute for Biodiagnostics, the University of Manitoba and Dalhousie University.
The team has been working together since 2002 on the use of optics in diagnosing dental caries and they have been successful in obtaining three grants to support their research. Their most recent grant is a 4 year, $1.2 million grant from NIH. To date, several articles have been published along with five abstracts/poster presentations at national and international spectroscopic, optical and dental conferences.
As a result of the current methods used to diagnose proximal surface caries (visual, explorer, bitewing radiographs), which can lead to both false-positive and false-negatives, it was determined that a more accurate diagnostic tool is required. Using optical methods that combine Raman spectroscopy and optical coherence tomography (OCT), the team is in the process of developing a probe that is intended to more accurately diagnose proximal surface caries. The probe will be designed to assess changes in surface integrity (the presence or absence of cavitation) as well as changes in mineral content so that appropriate treatment or preventive strategies can be initiated. The developed method will be validated initially using extracted teeth and later in patient volunteers. Design of a diagnostic tool that provides more accuracy than bite-wing radiographs can potentially reduce the number of radiograph exposures to our patients. This tool will also enable monitoring to follow the status/repair of early lesions.
We are very proud of Dr. Cleghorn and his team on their innovative clinical research.
Updated: September 18, 2006