The aim of this study was to evaluate and correlate objectively the microspectroscopically derived biochemical components of sound, infected and affected carious dentine with their microhardness and autofluorescence (AF) characteristics. Over 3 million high-resolution Raman spectra from 8 extracted human carious teeth were recorded using Raman spectrometer with parallel spectrum acquisition. Green AF signals across each carious lesion from all samples were acquired with a similar spatial resolution using confocal fluorescence microscopy. The Knoop microhardness (KHN) from a total of 233 co-localized areas was recorded from the same samples and allocated subjectively into the three zones. Cluster analysis of the Raman data, performed using in-house software, produced five independent spectral components representing mineral content, protein content, porphyrin fluorescence (PF), putative infected dentine signal (IDS) and affected dentine signal (ADS). The distributions of the 5 Raman components and the AF signal were matched across all samples and their average values were calculated for each corresponding KHN area. The infected dentine was defined significantly by the KHN, AF and by the relative contribution of the mineral, PF and IDS clusters. Protein cluster was not statistically related to the KHN or AF. A delineation between affected and sound dentine was observed using the KHN, AF, PF and ADS parameters. This study concludes that micro-Raman spectroscopy can provide a non-invasive and objective evaluation of different carious dentine zones. Being able to detect and assess clinically the caries-affected dentine during minimally invasive operative caries management is important to control the risk of unnecessary tissue removal.
Bibliographical noteCopyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.
- Dental Caries
- Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
- Microscopy, Confocal
- Spectrometry, Fluorescence
- Spectrum Analysis, Raman