Table of Contents
ISRN Biomedical Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 502869, 6 pages
Research Article

Optical Measurement of Blood Oxygen Saturation of Dental Pulp

1Division of Oral Health Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, 1-5-45 Yushima, Tokyo 113-0034, Japan
2Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, Tohoku University, 6-6-05 Aoba, Sendai 980-8579, Japan

Received 13 August 2013; Accepted 24 September 2013

Academic Editors: D. Fotiadis and I. Toma-Dasu

Copyright © 2013 Satoko Kakino et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The applicability of arterial pulse oximetry to dental pulp was demonstrated using in vitro and in vivo measurements. First, porcine blood of known oxygen saturation (SO2) was circulated through extracted human upper incisors, while transmitted-light plethysmography was performed using three different visible wavelengths. From the light intensity waveforms measured in vitro, a parameter that is statistically correlated to SO2 was calculated using the pulsatile/nonpulsatile component ratios of two wavelengths for different SO2. Then, values were measured in vivo for living incisors, and the corresponding SO2 values were calculated using the results of in vitro measurements. The estimated SO2 values of the upper central incisors measured in vivo were from 71.0 to 92.7%. This study showed the potential to measure the oxygen saturation changes to identify the sign of pulpal inflammation.