Researchers developing novel AI platform for dental disease

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Researchers developing novel AI platform for dental disease identification

An artificial intelligence platform under development in the UK could allow dentists and dental students to read radiographs with higher accuracy, helping them to better detect dental anomalies. (Image: William Potter/Shutterstock)

GUILDFORD, UK: Dental disease identification is often cumbersome and time-consuming. To assist dental professionals in better detecting dental problems, researchers in the UK are currently developing an artificial intelligence (AI) model for the recognition of dental abnormalities in anatomical structures. The project aims to provide a comprehensive solution for collecting and annotating dental radiographs and has recently received £1.55 million (€1.79 million) in grant funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Research.

The project is being led by the University of Surrey in partnership with King’s College London, Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust and the Oral Health Foundation. Discussing its relevance, Dr Yunpeng Li, one of the two project leads and a senior lecturer in AI at the University of Surrey, commented in a press release: “The technology could save valuable time and money if rolled out more widely, enabling dentists to have abnormalities pop up in front of them and read radiograms with higher accuracy.”

“This next phase of the project is incredibly exciting as we work collaboratively to build a working prototype suitable for real-life clinical settings. Efforts so far have included gathering a representative set of annotated radiograms and training a custom-built AI model on dental disease detection. We look forward to comprehensive outcomes over the next few years,” he added.

To be trusted by dental professionals as a reliable tool, the system first needs to achieve a high degree of accuracy. Dr Owen Addison, professor of oral rehabilitation at King’s College London and the joint project lead, noted: “AI systems that support more accurate diagnosis and clinical decision-making will help patients, but they must be trustworthy. We look forward to supporting this project by providing dental expertise and consideration of the needs of end users.”

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