AI-driven 3D scanning technology to perform implants and other treatments

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AI-driven 3D scanning technology to perform implants and other treatments
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New AI-driven 3D scanning technology developed by an Australian business is set to remove a major pain point for dentists and dental specialists when they perform implants and other treatments. By Cameron Cooper

Dentist and entrepreneur Dr Thomas Choi believes it is time that Australia flexed its muscles in the fast-growing med-tech space—and he is practising what he preaches.

Through his Sydney business Eyes of AI, Dr Choi and co-founders Dr Sen Le and machine-learning expert Khoa Le are offering artificial intelligence-powered solutions that rapidly analyse dental X-ray images and detect and diagnose disease. Its flagship technology, developed in partnership with the CSIRO, is an AI-driven, cloud-based technology suite that can view and diagnose cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans and render them as detailed, 3D models.

“Our technology is a world first and it has the capacity to revolutionise dental healthcare through AI-enabled disease detection,” says Dr Choi, the chief operating officer at Eyes of AI.

The dental software innovation has involved ‘training’ AI to analyse thousands of X-ray images during the past few years. It delivers the highest quality 3D rendering and modelling, allowing for precise surgery and implant planning, and also assisting with the treatment of periodontal disease, oral and maxillofacial surgery and endodontics, among others. 

Key benefits include fine-tuning treatment planning, speeding up diagnostics, improving patient communications and creating detailed cloud-based reports that take advantage of real-time data.

“It really empowers dental professionals to operate with greater efficiency and accuracy while improving diagnoses and getting better patient health outcomes,” Dr Choi says. “At the end of the day, that should always be the number one priority.”

The way of the future

Eyes of AI’s innovation comes at a time when AI is increasingly on the radar for dentists. An international survey, called The Need for Digital Dentistry Education: A Global Evaluation of Patients’ Awareness, Attitudes and Behaviours reveals that 95 per cent of patients agree that they receive better care with digital solutions, and two in three patients would consider switching to a digitally equipped dentist. 

It really empowers dental professionals to operate with greater efficiency and accuracy while improving diagnoses and getting better patient health outcomes. At the end of the day, that should always be the number one priority.

Dr Thomas Choi, co-founder, Eyes of AI

The online study surveyed 7000 adults across the United States, Canada, China, France, Germany, India and the United Kingdom.

In addition to the CBCT 3D scanning, Eyes of AI has developed solutions for other frequently used radiographs in dentistry: Cephalometric (CEPH), Orthopantomagram (OPG), Bitewing and Periapical (PA). Its technology suite can assist with temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) analysis, surgical measurements, root canal assessment and measurements, implant planning and airway analysis.

Dr Choi says AI-driven solutions represent the future of dental treatments and are attracting the interest of clinicians around the world. “They all know it’s coming—it’s just a matter of who is going to do it best.”

He is confident that with CSIRO’s backing, Eyes of AI can get the jump on others. The business initially created proof-of-concept technology for lateral CEPH radiographs of the side of the face. A diagnostic process that could take up to an hour using older technology—and runs the risk of incorrect diagnoses and missed pathologies—can now be completed in seconds using AI.

“When doing such orthodontic work in the past, the planning took 40 minutes to an hour per patient and the inability to do this while the patient is in the chair is another factor,” Dr Le says. “Now with AI it’s all done in less than 20 seconds, and you can make decisions on the spot with the patient in the chair. It saves them and us time, and it take the guess work out of it, too, if there are hidden dental conditions.”

Speed is also a factor with the world-first 3D scanning technology that Eyes of AI is developing with the CSIRO and which it sees as its greatest market opportunity. Typical CBCT assessments can now be completed in just two to three minutes. “No-one else can get it done that quickly,” says Dr Le, who owns two dental clinics in Sydney. 

Eyes of AI believes its software increases the accuracy of X-ray analysis by up to 80 per cent, enabling dental practitioners to provide higher levels of care.

Dr Choi adds that the new CBCT technology allows clinicians to see through facial structures and identify potentially hidden diseases. “It’s a unique point of our technology.”

When doing such orthodontic work in the past, the planning took 40 minutes to an hour per patient and the inability to do this while the patient is in the chair is another factor. Now with AI it’s all done in less than 20 seconds, and you can make decisions on the spot with the patient in the chair.

Khoa Le, co-founder, Eyes of AI

While final approval of the 3D scanning technology could take years through the US FDA, Dr Choi and Dr Le are confident that elements of the business’s AI suite will be able to be used much sooner and provide a groundbreaking imagery analysis solution for dental practitioners.

Talking about a revolution

In addition to seeking to achieve international success with its AI technology, Dr Choi hopes it will help grow momentum for med-tech in Australia.

Noting that Australia is lacking big brand corporations in the medical and dental world, he believes the nation cannot afford to miss out on this area of market growth. “This is where the jobs are going to be,” Dr Choi say. “So, we want to help put Australia on the map in terms of AI medical imaging, especially in dentistry.”

Just before leaving for Germany and the United Kingdom to showcase their technology to industry leaders, Dr Choi and Dr Le acknowledged that their lives could change dramatically if their AI advances gain widespread international adoption. They have engaged the services of leading patent lawyers to safeguard their intellectual property. 

Dr Choi expects that his day-to-day clinician work is likely to take a back seat as Eyes of AI grows. For his part, Dr Le concedes that he is not getting a lot of sleep these days as he juggles clinical practice with the development of the AI technology. However, he is proud to be developing a “health-focused product” that can make a real difference for dentists and their patients.

“That was the driving force in the first place—clinical application,” Dr Le says. “So, that’s going to keep us going; it’s the reason we are doing this.”  

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