Document Type


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DOI: 10.1016/j.jdent.2023.104779


INTRODUCTION: It is critical for dentists to identify and differentiate primary and permanent teeth, fillings, dental restorations and areas with pathological findings when reviewing dental radiographs to ensure that an accurate diagnosis is made and the optimal treatment can be planned. Unfortunately, dental radiographs are sometimes read incorrectly due to human error or low-quality images. While secondary or group review can help catch errors, many dentists work in practice alone and/or do not have time to review all of their patients' radiographs with another dentist. Artificial intelligence may facilitate the accurate interpretation of radiographs. To help support the review of panoramic radiographs, we developed a novel collaborative learning model that simultaneously identifies and differentiates primary and permanent teeth and detects fillings.

METHODS: We used publicly accessible dental panoramic radiographic images and images obtained from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, School of Dentistry to develop and optimize two high-performance classifiers: (1) a system for tooth segmentation that can differentiate primary and permanent teeth and (2) a system to detect dental fillings.

RESULTS: By utilizing these high-performance classifiers, we created models that can identify primary and permanent teeth (mean average precision [mAP] 95.32 % and performance [F-1] 92.50 %), as well as their associated dental fillings (mAP 91.53 % and F-1 91.00 %). We also designed a novel method for collaborative learning that utilizes these two classifiers to enhance recognition performance (mAP 94.09 % and F-1 93.41 %).

CONCLUSIONS: Our model improves upon the existing machine learning models to simultaneously identify and differentiate primary and permanent teeth, and to identify any associated fillings.

CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Human error can lead to incorrect readings of panoramic radiographs. By developing artificial intelligence and machine learning methods to analyze panoramic radiographs, dentists can use this information to support their radiograph interpretations, help communicate the information to patients, and assist dental students learning to read radiographs.

Journal Title

Journal of dentistry



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MeSH Keywords

Humans; Radiography, Panoramic; Dentition, Mixed; Artificial Intelligence; Interdisciplinary Placement; Tooth


Artificial intelligence; Convolutional neural network; Deep learning; Mixed dentition; Radiography; Radiology


This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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