Science + Tech

The rise of artificial intelligence in dentistry

Artificial intelligence has provided a transfiguring drive in the field of dentistry over the last few years. AI describes the use of computers and technology to simulate intelligent behavior and critical thinking comparable to a human being. The greatest advantage of these systems is that they can solve problems too complex for conventional methods. In dentistry, AI was introduced with the digitization of dental records. Using these records, AI has enabled automated localization of landmarks, identification of diseases and classification of tumors. The prospects of AI in the dental field are infinite and its use is rapidly advancing.

Transforming dentistry

From the early days of X-ray imaging in the 1890s to more advanced techniques like positron emission tomography (PET), diagnostic imaging remains a pillar of dental medicine. AI has provided substantial aid in radiology by quickly identifying negative exams in high-volume settings. These breakthroughs can detect and diagnose oral lesions that may go unnoticed by the human eye. In 2020, Lee and Orhan studied the use of machine learning based AI models in radiology. Using panoramic and CBCT scans, these researchers found that AI techniques could diagnose periapical cysts and dentigerous cysts with 92.8% accuracy. This semiautomatic algorithm shortened execution time, offered a more in-depth quantification analysis, and increased diagnostic accuracy.

Continue reading this article in the February 2021 issue of Contour magazine.

~Sophia Oak, Arizona ’22, ASDA Contributing Editor

Sophia Oak

Sophia Oak is a third-year student at the Arizona School of Dentistry. She grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a biology degree in 2016. She is currently the contributing editor of Contour Magazine.

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