Neves A.d.A.,Leuven BIOMAT Research Cluster |
Coutinho E.,Leuven BIOMAT Research Cluster |
Vivan Cardoso M.,Leuven BIOMAT Research Cluster |
Jaecques S.V.,Leuven BIOMAT Research Cluster |
Van Meerbeek B.,Leuven BIOMAT Research Cluster
Dental Materials | Year: 2010
Objectives: To optimize a microtomographic (micro-CT) technique to quantitatively evaluate the effectiveness of contemporary caries-excavation techniques. Methods: A beam-hardening curve was obtained from an initial reconstruction of a wedge-shaped hydroxyapatite (HAp) block and fitted with a 5th order polynomial function, after which each micro-CT tooth slice was corrected accordingly. Calibration of the 8-bit gray values into mineral-density values was obtained by scanning, reconstructing and processing volume of interests (VOIs) of HAp phantoms with different mineral densities (0.25, 0.75, 3.14 g/cm3). One carious tooth was scanned before and after caries removal with an experimental enzyme-based gel. After reconstruction, a 3D-median filter was applied to each micro-CT slice, and a connected threshold grower algorithm was used to blank-out undesired structures in each slice. Volume rendering with a look-up-table (LUT), based on mineral densities, was accomplished for the tooth before and after caries removal. Finally, the actual volume of excavated tissue was quantified. Results: Correction for beam hardening produced tooth slices with relatively homogeneous gray values along the whole area of enamel and dentin. Accurate mineral-density values were obtained for enamel, dentin and carious regions (2.89, 1.74 and 0.27 g/cm3, respectively). After pre-processing (3D-median filtering and connected threshold grower algorithm), acceptable segmentation of carious dentin based on gray values was accomplished (Otsu method, gray value = 75 or mineral density = 1.12 g/cm3), from which quantitative volumetric parameters were calculated. Significance: Accurate calibration, standardization of scanning and reconstruction steps and adequate pre-processing of micro-CT slices allowed detailed volumetric calculation of caries-excavation techniques. © 2010 Academy of Dental Materials.