One of the problems with dental image analysis is the fact that the maxilla-facial area is very complex and has a lot of overlapping features and structures. Teeth also vary in shape, position and structure, which can make image segmentation difficult. Dental imaging, then, needs more advanced tech, sometimes involving something like the 3D image analysis software from Bitplane.com.
Image Analysis Applications For Dentistry
Most medical applications for image analysis involve diagnoses and heling doctors to confirm their suspicions. Dentistry uses these applications and also uses imaging to help with designing and manufacturing replacement teeth. Using this tech is useful when it comes to making implants and complex bridges and so forth, but it’s diagnostics where image analysis proves really invaluable.
3D analysis can help to identify dental caries, periodontal disease, osteoporosis in the jaw and other pathologies. It can also offer more insights into the teeth and the surrounding structures than regular x-rays.
The Benefits Of Using 3D Image Analysis In Dental Diagnostics
By using computer-aided diagnostic techniques, dentists can speed up their diagnoses, as well as make them more reliable and accurate. It also helps them to plan reconstructions and complex surgeries.
Image Analysis Helps With Identifying Caries
Dentists have been using computer-aided diagnostics for decay for a while and have found that it makes the identification of caries twice as reliable. Looking for decay is one of the main jobs for a dentist and anything that makes it faster and more accurate. Identifying the extent and depth of decay also helps dentists to provide more conservative treatments.
Identifying Endodontic Problems
When treating a tooth, the dentist needs to know if the pulp is inflamed or even absent. Using image analysis can help here, especially when it comes to identifying the borders between pulp and root canal.
Periodontitis is a chronic inflammation of the soft tissues around the teeth; it can be especially difficult to identify it with regular dental x-rays, so the sensitive edge detection offered by image analysis is very helpful.
Severe dental infections in the maxilla (upper jaw) can travel into the sinuses because of the maxillary structures. Even very experienced dentists sometimes need help in identifying this problem, as x-rays often don’t show up sinus problems even if the sinuses are clearly visible. Newer dentists can use computer-aided diagnostics to reach the same accuracy as more experienced practitioners, which benefits the patients greatly.
At present, the best way to identify osteoporosis is by using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), but bone density can also be measured by looking at the mandibular condyle. It’s easier to perform a panoramic x-ray than to use DXA, so many dentists are using image analysis instead. This helps them to identify regions of interest and extract the data from radiographs leading to an accuracy rate of almost 90% in osteoporosis detection.
Identifying Wider Problems
Sometimes a panoramic x-ray can reveal other problems. The calcification of the carotid artery for example, can show that the patient is at risk of a stroke in the future. By using image analysis to look at greyscale, for example, the calcification can be spotted and the patient can be referred to their doctor for further advice and treatment.