The performance of clinicians undertaking periodontal assessment or periodontal therapy can be improved by using optical methods as adjuncts to visual inspection and periodontal probing. Subtle changes that occur over time in periodontal tissues that are below the detection limit of visual examination or periodontal probing can be found and tracked accurately over time using 3D imaging, fluorescence spectroscopy, and optical coherence tomography. During debridement of teeth and dental implants, the effective removal of subgingival microbial biofilms and dental calculus deposits can be enhanced using magnifying loupes and operating microscopes and by novel methods based on the interactions of light with bacterial deposits, such as differential reflectometry and light-induced fluorescence. While such techniques can also be used using initial case assessment, their primary purpose is for checking debridement procedures, since the point when bacterial deposits are no longer present represents an endpoint for treatment. The concept of real-time feedback has been developed, using fluorescence readings to control the removal of deposits. Overall, optical methods can support traditional periodontal diagnosis and improve treatment planning and clinical periodontal care.
Part of the book: Periodontology and Dental Implantology