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Raman spectroscopy in the characterisation of carious dental tissues

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Photo of caries in human teeth.

In this work we demonstrate the suitability of confocal Raman microscopy for the characterisation of carious dental tissues. Samples of enamel and dentine, presenting carious lesions in different stages of progression, were evaluated by comparing the depolarisation ratio of the PO43– symmetric stretching band at 959 cm–1 in the different tissues. Both line and area scans were performed to gauge these variations. Moreover, the obtained results were compared with the tissues’ behaviour when interacting with ultraviolet radiation, namely the induced fluorescence in some tissues. The depolarisation ratio has proven to be a valuable tool in recognition of demineralisation of both enamel and dentine due to caries. The analyses of the collagen bands in the dentine sample turned out to be more difficult to evaluate due to high fluorescence in the carious region.


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Software and hardware improvements for Raman scanning-probe microscopes. A new software wizard guides the user through the complete investigation, from initial settings and acquisition through data and image post-processing. Presets and highlighted analytical paths speed up the generation of images. TrueComponent Analysis is a post-processing function for confocal Raman imaging measurements that automatically establishes the number of components in a sample, locates them in the image and differentiates their individual spectra.

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