Dental pulp vitality measurement based on multiwavelenght photoplethysmography

Ville Särkelä, Harri Kopola, Kyösti Oikarinen, Esko Herrala

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Observation of the intradental blood supply is important in cases of dental trauma, but difficult. As the methods used by dentists to measure pulp vitality are not very reliable, a dental pulp vitalometer based on fiberoptic reflectance measurement and measurement of the absorption of blood has been designed and built. In addition to the fiber optic probe and reflectance sensor electronics, the vitalometer includes a data acquisition card, a PC and data processing programs. The thick dentin and enamel layers and the small amount of blood in a tooth are major problems for optical measurement of its vitality, and scattered light from the enamel and the dentin surrounding the pulpa also causes a problem in measurements based on reflectance. These problems are assessed here by means of theoretical models and calculations. The advantage of reflectance measurement is that only one probe is used, which is easy to put against the tooth. Thus measurements are simple to make. Three wavelengths (560 nm, 650 nm, 850 nm) are used to measure photoplethysmographic signals, and these should allow the oxygen saturation of the blood in a tooth to be measured as well in the future. Series of measurements have been performed on vital and non-vital teeth by recording photoplethysmographic signals, using the vitalometer and using a commercial laser-Doppler instrument. Verifications of the laser-Doppler and vitalometer results are presented and deduced here.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedical and Fiber Optic Sensors and Delivery Systems
Place of PublicationBellingham
PublisherInternational Society for Optics and Photonics SPIE
ISBN (Print)978-0-8194-1995-8
Publication statusPublished - 1995
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventMedical and Fiber Optic Sensors and Delivery Systems - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 12 Sept 199516 Sept 1995

Publication series

SeriesProceedings of SPIE


ConferenceMedical and Fiber Optic Sensors and Delivery Systems


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