A laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) system targeting for the in vivo analysis of tooth enamel is described. The system is planned to enable real-time analysis of teeth during laser dental treatment by utilizing a hollow optical fiber that transmits both Q-switched Nd:YAG laser light for LIBS and infrared Er:YAG laser light for tooth ablation. The sensitivity of caries detection was substantially improved by expanding the spectral region under analysis to ultraviolet (UV) light and by focusing on emission peaks of Zn in the UV region. Subsequently, early caries were distinguished from healthy teeth with accuracy rates above 80% in vitro.
- caries detection
- hollow optical fibers
- laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy