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Periodontics Restorative Dentistry Supporting Your Practice

Squid Ink in Photoacoustic Imaging for Periodontal Probing

Dr. Jesse Jokerst is Assistant Professor in the Department of NanoEngineering at the University of California in San Diego and the co-author of a very recent study that examined the use this food-grade cuttlefish ink as a contrast medium in photoacoustic ultrasound for imaging of probing depths. The study was published in the Journal of Dental Research (September 2017) and is titled: Photoacoustic Imaging for Noninvasive Periodontal Probing Depth Measurements

He kindly accepted my invitation to speak about his study and shed some light about a promising bourgeoning technique. He also prepared a very informative presentation to further explain the new concept.

I hope you enjoy the presentation and that you share your questions/feedback with us oasisdiscussions@cda-adc.ca

Chiraz Guessaier, CDA Oasis Manager


  • The periodontal probe is the gold standard tool for periodontal examinations, including probing depth measurements, but is limited by systematic and random errors.
  • In this study, we used photoacoustic ultrasound for high–spatial resolution imaging of probing depths. Specific contrast from dental pockets was achieved with food-grade cuttlefish ink as a contrast medium.
  • Thirty nine porcine teeth (12 teeth with artificially deeper pockets) were treated with the contrast agent, and the probing depths were measured with novel photoacoustic imaging and a Williams periodontal probe.
  • There were statistically significant differences between the 2 measurement approaches for distal, lingual, and buccal sites but not mesial. Bland-Altman analysis revealed that all bias values were < ±0.25 mm, and the coefficients of variation for 5 replicates were <11%.
  • The photoacoustic imaging approach also offered 0.01-mm precision and could cover the entire pocket, as opposed to the probe-based approach, which is limited to only a few sites.
  • This report is the first to use photoacoustic imaging for probing depth measurements with potential implications to the dental field, including tools for automated dental examinations or non-invasive examinations.

More information on Dr. Jokerst’s Bioimaging Lab 

Full Interview (14.38″)


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