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pH Mapping on Tooth Surfaces for Quantitative Caries Diagnosis Using Micro Ir/IrOx pH Sensor

Ratanaporncharoen, Chindanai, Tabata, Miyuki, Kitasako, Yuichi, Ikeda, Masaomi, Goda, Tatsuro, Matsumoto, Akira, Tagami, Junji, Miyahara, Yuji
Analytical chemistry 2018 v.90 no.7 pp. 4925-4931
dental caries, diagnostic techniques, oral health, pH, quality of life
A quantitative diagnostic method for dental caries would improve oral health, which directly affects the quality of life. Here we describe the preparation and application of Ir/IrOx pH sensors, which are used to measure the surface pH of dental caries. The pH level is used as an indicator to distinguish between active and arrested caries. After a dentist visually inspected and defined 18 extracted dentinal caries at various positions as active or arrested caries, the surface pH values of sound and caries areas were directly measured with an Ir/IrOx pH sensor with a diameter of 300 μm as a dental explorer. The average pH values of the sound root, the arrested caries, and active caries were 6.85, 6.07, and 5.30, respectively. The pH obtained with an Ir/IrOx sensor was highly correlated with the inspection results by the dentist, indicating that the types of caries were successfully categorized. This caries testing technique using a micro Ir/IrOx pH sensor provides an accurate quantitative caries evaluation and has potential in clinical diagnosis.