by Virgil Florin Duma, Cosmin Sinescu, Adrian Bradu and Adrian Podoleanu
Optical Coherence Tomography Investigations and Modeling of the Sintering of Ceramic Crowns, Materials 12, 947 (2019).
Dental prostheses are sintered in ovens that sometimes suffer from a loss of calibration. This can lead to variations of the sintering temperature outside the range recommended by the manufacturer. Stress and even fractures in dental ceramics may occur, and this leads to the necessity to rebuild the dental construct. The aim of this work is to monitor the quality of sintering processes using an established biomedical imaging technique—optical coherence tomography (OCT). Conventional current procedures imply the fabrication of supplemental samples that add to the expenses and are only evaluated visually. To our knowledge, we were the first to propose the use of OCT, a non-destructive method that brings objectivity for such assessments, focusing, in a previous study, on metal ceramic dental prostheses. Here, a different material, pressed ceramics, is considered, while we propose a quantitative assessment of the results—using reflectivity profiles of en-face (i.e., constant-depth) OCT images of sintered samples. The results for both the pressed ceramics and metal ceramics prostheses are discussed by obtaining the analytic functions of their reflectivity profiles. A multi-parametric analysis demonstrates the best parameter to characterize the loss of calibration of dental ovens. Rules-of-thumb are extracted; producing dental prostheses with efects can thus be avoided.