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Semi-Automated Planimetric Quantification of Dental Plaque Using an Intraoral Fluorescence Camera

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Dental plaque accumulation is quantified using clinical indices or, otherwise, the planimetric plaque index (PPI), which measures the relative area of a tooth that is covered by plaque deposits. Compared to clinical indices, the PPI has a higher discriminatory power, but traditional planimetry is a time-consuming analysis, as the plaque-covered and clean tooth areas have to be determined manually for each image using image-processing software. Here, we present a method for the semi-automated planimetric quantification of dental plaque, which allows for the rapid processing of up to 1,000 images simultaneously. The method exploits the enhanced contrast between disclosed plaque, sound tooth surfaces, and soft tissues in fluorescence images acquired with an intraoral camera. Careful execution of the clinical procedures and accurate image acquisition are crucial steps for the successful semi-automated identification of the plaque-covered areas. The method is suitable for planimetry on sound facial and oral tooth surfaces, on most composite resin restorations, and on teeth with orthodontic brackets, but not on metallic restorations. Compared to traditional PPI recordings, semi-automated planimetry considerably reduces the amount of time spent on the analysis, as well as the subjective human input, thus increasing the reproducibility of planimetric measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere65035
JournalJournal of visualized experiments : JoVE
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2023

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