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Van P.Thompson

Saturday, September 24: 9:50-10:15

Tooth Enamel Structure and Interaction with Light

Lecture Description: 

Enamel is perceived as having translucent properties but there little appreciation as how the structural elements of enamel and their 3 dimensional arrangement modifies light transmission. This presentation will highlight the role of the combination of enamel prism nano and microstructure on light scattering. Particular emphasis will be on the complex nature of enamel, its extensive decussation, and how overall enamel directs and polarizes light. Both microscope and macroscopic examples will be presented.


• Describe the role of enamel prisms in light transmission and scattering
• Identify the nature of enamel prism decussation and the role of decussation in directing and scattering light
• Describe how the aggregate structure of enamel transmits and polarizes light.

About presenter: 

Van P Thompson, D.D.S., Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Biomaterials and Biomimetics, NYU College of Dentistry. Known for his work on adhesion and bonded bridges at the University of Maryland he has published many articles and made numerous presentations on dental biomaterials in the U.S. and internationally. His current research areas include occlusal hidden caries, new ceramics for layer crowns, fatigue damage in ceramics, tissue engineering for alveolar ridge augmentation and practice based research (PEARL Network).