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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

Ultrasonic Periodontal Probing Based on the Dynamic Wavelet Fingerprint

EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20052005:198348

  • Received: 17 August 2004
  • Published:


Manual pocket depth probing has been widely used as a retrospective diagnosis method in periodontics. However, numerous studies have questioned its ability to accurately measure the anatomic pocket depth. In this paper, an ultrasonic periodontal probing method is described, which involves using a hollow water-filled probe to focus a narrow beam of ultrasound energy into and out of the periodontal pocket, followed by automatic processing of pulse-echo signals to obtain the periodontal pocket depth. The signal processing algorithm consists of three steps: peak detection/characterization, peak classification, and peak identification. A dynamic wavelet fingerprint (DWFP) technique is first applied to detect suspected scatterers in the A-scan signal and generate a two-dimensional black and white pattern to characterize the local transient signal corresponding to each scatterer. These DWFP patterns are then classified by a two-dimensional FFT procedure and mapped to an inclination index curve. The location of the pocket bottom was identified as the third broad peak in the inclination index curve. The algorithm is tested on full-mouth probing data from two sequential visits of 14 patients. Its performance is evaluated by comparing ultrasonic probing results with that of full-mouth manual probing at the same sites, which is taken as the "gold standard."

Keywords and phrases:

  • ultrasonic
  • periodontal
  • probe
  • wavelet

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Applied Science, The College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795, USA
Valley Periodontics, 2535 Northern Road, Appleton, WI 54914, USA


© Hou et al. 2005