Study of a spectroscopic electrical impedance tomography technique for diagnosis of dental caries.

Project Details


Dental caries, the most prevalent among contemporary diseases, although not appreciated as a major health threat, causes significant discomfort to large parts of the population, and puts an immense financial burden on the social health system. Given the importance of early diagnosis to allow for a preventive or minimal invasive therapy, at the lowest economical cost, effective diagnostic tools than can be routinely applied in clinical practice are of prime importance. However, the significant change in lesion morphology that is observed over the last 2 decades causes current diagnostic techniques, including visual assessment, clinical probing, and conventional X-ray imaging, to yield disappointingly low detection performances. The potential financial savings accruing from the widespread adoption of more accurate diagnostic tools, targeting preventive care and avoiding unnecessary restorative interventions, could be tremendous, and spurred several new research directions.
Digital subtraction radiography (DSR), which has been documented as a sensitive technique for studying the progress of periapical pathologies and bone regeneration therapy, more recently also has been demonstrated to benefit significantly the in vitro detection of caries-like demineralizations. Unfortunately, most of these results were obtained using geometrical standardization techniques based on the manual assignment of correspondences between pairs of images. It is to be expected, however, that DSR never will find widespread acceptance as a clinically applicable tool for caries diagnosis as long as tedious and highly sensitive operator intervention is demanded. The underlying philosophy of this study, therefore, is to substitute manual operation by advanced numerical algorithms.
Being based on conventional digital radiographic systems, which are experiencing a rapid proliferation in clinical practices world wide, thereby replacing cumbersome conventional film processing, integration of DSR as new caries diagnostic tool should not pose insurmountable practical problems, nor requiring changes in the diagnostic attitude of clinicians.
Effective start/end date1/01/0531/12/07


  • caries diagnosis
  • Electrical Impedance Tomography
  • dental

Flemish discipline codes

  • Mathematical sciences
  • Electrical and electronic engineering
  • Basic sciences
  • (Bio)medical engineering