NON-CONTACT INDEX FOR PERIODONTAL INFLAMMATION
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Nearly 50% of American adults suffer from gingival disease. Diagnosis of periodontitis dependson attachment loss, which can be measured with a periodontal probe. A non-contactingmethod to quantitatively measure tissue inflammation must be useful in some circumstances,particularly if data can be correlated with attachment loss. In the current study, a noncontactingspectral reflectance device (Spotmeter®) was used to quickly record reflectancefrom 2mm diameter spots at gingival papillae of patients’ mouths at a distance ofapproximately 50-cm to monitor inflammation-related coloration. For the Institution ReviewBoard-approved in-vivo studies, baseline measurements were obtained at the initial patientvisit and at each subsequent visit to assess tissue color during a series of treatmentappointments. The primary measure was the ratio of red reflectance to the sum of red, blue,and green reflectance at each occasion, as compared with the coloration of gingival tissues notin an inflamed state. Prior to clinical measurements, in vitro studies were conducted to confirmcolor data from standard samples of primary colors of paints and of denture materials. Preclinicalmeasurements also were taken to select Spotmeter®-object distance and light-objectdistance and angles. The in-vitro experiments demonstrated that controlling the source ofillumination, angle of illumination, and distance between the object of interest and theSpotmeter® were critical for producing reliable results and a configuration that could betranslated to the clinic. The results from this pilot clinical study support the conclusion that invivospectral reflectance can be used to monitor the reduction in inflammation duringperiodontal treatment.