Receive a weekly summary and discussion of the top papers of the week by leading researchers in the field.

In Journal of X-ray science and technology

BACKGROUND : Automatic segmentation of individual tooth root is a key technology for the reconstruction of the three-dimensional dental model from Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) images, which is of great significance for the orthodontic, implant and other dental diagnosis and treatment planning.

OBJECTIVES : Currently, tooth root segmentation is mainly done manually because of the similar gray of the tooth root and the alveolar bone from CBCT images. This study aims to explore the automatic tooth root segmentation algorithm of CBCT axial image sequence based on deep learning.

METHODS : We proposed a new automatic tooth root segmentation method based on the deep learning U-net with AGs. Since CBCT sequence has a strong correlation between adjacent slices, a Recurrent neural network (RNN) was applied to extract the intra-slice and inter-slice contexts. To develop and test this new method for automatic segmentation of tooth roots using CBCT images, 24 sets of CBCT sequences containing 1160 images and 5 sets of CBCT sequences containing 361 images were used to train and test the network, respectively.

RESULTS : Applying to the testing dataset, the segmentation accuracy measured by the intersection over union (IOU), dice similarity coefficient (DICE), average precision rate (APR), average recall rate (ARR), and average symmetrical surface distance (ASSD) are 0.914, 0.955, 95.8% , 95.3% , 0.145 mm, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS : The study demonstrates that the new method combining attention U-net with RNN yields the promising results of automatic tooth roots segmentation, which has potential to help improve the segmentation efficiency and accuracy in future clinical practice.

Li Qingqing, Chen Ke, Han Lin, Zhuang Yan, Li Jingtao, Lin Jiangli


RNN, Tooth roots, attention U-net, automatic segmentation, cone beam computed tomography