A dental drill that has one or multiple single mode fibers that can be used to image in the vicinity of the drill tip. It is valuable to image below the surface being drilled to minimize damage to vital or normal tissue. Identifying the boundary between decayed and normal enamel (or dentine) would reduce the removal of viable tissue, and identifying the nerve before getting too close with the drill could prevent nerve damage. By surrounding a drill with several optical fibers that can be used by an optical coherence domain reflectometry (OCDR) to image several millimeters ahead of the ablation surface will lead to a new and improved dental treatment device.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.