Researchers develop AI-designed single molar dental prostheses

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AI-designed single molar dental prostheses

Currently, the process of designing and creating dentures is highly time-consuming as the existing computerised design process requires tedious manual inputs, teeth occlusion information collection as well as multiple denture fitting procedures due to limited accuracy of exciting technologies.

Now researchers from Hong Kong have developed a new approach using artificial intelligence to automate the design of individualised dentures, in order to enhance the treatment efficiency and improve patient experience.

The AI technology used in the process was based on a 3D Generative Adversarial Network (3D-GAN) algorithm and tested on 175 participants recruited at the University of Hong Kong. 

The study—published in PLOS ONE—shows that AI technology could reconstruct the shape of a natural healthy tooth and automate the process of false teeth design with high accuracy.

“The 3D GAN algorithm was selected due to its superior performance on 3D object reconstruction compared to other AI algorithms,” co-investigator Dr Reinhard Chau said.

“In the preliminary study, 3D GAN was able to rebuild similar shapes to the original teeth for 60 per cent of the cases. It is expected to mature with more AI training data.”

The new approach only requires the digital model of a patient’s dentition to function. It can learn the features of an individual’s teeth from the rest of the dentition and generate a false tooth that looks like the missing tooth.

“This will facilitate the treatment workflow for dentists in replacing a missing tooth, as the preparation and fitting process will require minimal time, and a patient will not need to stay at the clinic for long hours,” principal investigator Dr Walter Lam said.

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