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

In Caries research

This study aimed to evaluate the validity of a deep learning-based convolutional neural network (CNN) for detecting proximal caries lesions on bitewing radiographs. A total of 978 bitewing radiographs, 10899 proximal surfaces, were evaluated by two endodontists and a radiologist, of which 2719 surfaces were diagnosed and annotated with proximal caries and 8180 surfaces were sound. The data were randomly divided into two datasets, with 818 bitewings in the training and validation dataset and 160 bitewings in the test dataset. Each annotation in the test set was then classified into 5 stages according to the extent of the lesion (E1, E2, D1, D2, D3). Faster R-CNN, a deep learning-based object detection method, was trained to detect proximal caries in the training and validation dataset and then was assessed on the test dataset. The diagnostic accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) were calculated. The performance of the network in the overall and different stages of lesions was compared with that of postgraduate students on the test dataset. A total of 388 carious lesions and 1435 sound surfaces were correctly identified by the neural network; hence, the accuracy was 0.87. Furthermore, 27.6% of lesions went undetected, and 7% of sound surfaces were misdiagnosed by the neural network. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV of the neural network were 0.72, 0.93, 0.77 and 0.91, respectively. In contrast with the network, 52.8% of lesions went undetected by the students, yielding a sensitivity of only 0.47. The F1-score of the students was 0.57, while the F1-score of the network was 0.74 despite the accuracy of 0.82. A significant difference in the sensitivity was found between the model and the postgraduate students when detecting different stages of lesions (P<0.05). For early lesions which limited in enamel and the outer third of dentin, the neural network had sensitivities all above or at 0.65, while students showed sensitivities below 0.40. From our results, we conclude that the CNN may be an assistant in detecting proximal caries on bitewings.

Chen Xiaotong, Guo Jiachang, Ye Jiaxue, Zhang Mingming, Liang Yuhong