Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has been emerging in the dental field as an alternative diagnostic imaging for “optical probes” owing to its micro-meter resolution and non-invasiveness. This review aims to answer the following question: what is the imaging capability of OCT to visualize the subgingival area? Online searches were performed on PubMed and SPIE digital library databases, followed by a manual screening of references listed in relevant studies. The feasibility and imaging performance of OCT to visualize the subgingival area, including the periodontal, peri-implant, and crown margins, are discussed. All of the literature reviewed in this study demonstrated that OCT has the ability to visualize periodontal, including hard and soft tissues, and peri-implant conditions with high resolution. Gingival sulcus depth, periodontal pocket, and calculus deposition can also be depicted. However, clinical evidence that support the imaging capability of OCT as a dental optical probe to visualize subgingival area is lacking. Limited availability, portability, and usability of OCT for clinical experiments in dentistry, particularly for the subgingival area, might be contributed to its limitations. Hence, further development of handheld OCT systems and controlled clinical trials are needed to confirm the imaging capability of OCT reported in this review.
- Diagnostic imaging
- Optical coherence tomography