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Lasers to Detect Tooth Enamel

A group of researchers in Australia and Taiwan led by Wang, Fleming, and their colleagues showed that they could analyze the health of  extracted human teeth using lasers. This is done by measuring how the surface of a tooth responds to laser-generated ultrasound. This allows them to then valuate the mineral content of tooth enamel. Enamel is the hardest and most mineralized substance of the human body which engulfs teeth in a protective layer. Enamel constantly undergoes a cycle of mineral loss and restoration, in which healthy teeth maintain a high mineral content. If the balance between mineral loss and gain is lost, teeth can develop areas of softened enamel which are precursors to cavities and damaged teeth. This research could lead to the ability to assess oral health and predict emerging dental problems, such as tooth decay and cavities […]

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