Ultrasonic Wave Propagation in a Tooth Phantom

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1998
Authors
Ghorayeb, S.
Xue, T.
Lord, William
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Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation
Center for Nondestructive Evaluation

Begun in 1973, the Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation (QNDE) is the premier international NDE meeting designed to provide an interface between research and early engineering through the presentation of current ideas and results focused on facilitating a rapid transfer to engineering development.

This site provides free, public access to papers presented at the annual QNDE conference between 1983 and 1999, and abstracts for papers presented at the conference since 2001.

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Abstract

Although ultrasonic energy has been used widely for general medical diagnostic purposes and as a tool for the nondestructive inspection of engineering components, a lack of understanding of the fundamental wave propagation phenomena in teeth has largely precluded its application to dentistry. This paper studies the physics of ultrasound/teeth interactions. Based on the authors’ experience with the detection of defec engineering materials using ultrasound and the development of finite element computer code to study the wave propagation, initial studies have already been made on a tooth phantom. Results indicate that this numerical model can indeed be used to study the complex ultrasound interactions with dental anomalies, such as pulpitis and abscesses, and that such results could be used to optimize the design of appropriate transducers and equipment for dentistry applications. The primary reason why this technique is important and should take place is that ultrasonography has a great advantage over the presently available X-ray technology in that it does put any strain on the patient nor does it cause any pain. Most importantly, ultrasonic waves are nonionizing which, when used at low sound intensity levels, do not cause any health risks to the patient nor to the operator.

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Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1998