This chapter presents the most important features of laser Doppler (LD) techniques: LD flowmetry (LDF) and LD imaging (LDI), together with examples of their clinical applications in dentistry. LDF gives a constant estimation of blood flow at a specified point, whereas LDI gives a ‘snapshot’ of perfusion at a given point. These methods are non-invasive laser-based techniques for monitoring gingival and pulpal blood flow and could be used as a diagnostic tool. In paediatric dentistry and odontology, LDF proved to be an atraumatic real-time method used for determining the tooth vitality by monitoring the pulp microcirculation in traumatized teeth, fractured teeth and teeth undergoing different conservative treatments (e.g. bleaching, dental preparation for prosthetic restorations, etc.). In periodontology, recent studies showed the ability of LDF to evaluate the health of gingival tissue in different types of periodontal diseases. By using LDF, it is also possible to evaluate the outcome after different periodontal treatments. The laser Doppler line scanning can be used for recording the gingival healing process after a surgical procedure in the anterior area of the oral cavity.
Part of the book: Microcirculation Revisited