For dentists to plan a dental implant operation, the implant size and position, dentists must know the exact location of the mandibular canal - a canal located in both sides of the lower jaw that contains the alveolar nerve. Since the lower jaw is an anatomically complex structure and medical experts use X-ray and computer tomography (CT) models to detect and diagnose such structures, dentists and radiologists typically define the location of the mandibular canals manually from the X-ray or CT scans. This makes the task laborious and time-consuming, which is why an automatized way to do this could make their work and placement of dental implants much easier.
Researchers at the Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence (FCAI), Tampere University Hospital, Planmeca and the Alan Turing Institute have developed a new model that accurately and automatically shows the exact location of mandibular canals. The model is based on training and using deep neural networks, and researchers trained the model by using a dataset consisting of 3D cone beam CT (CBCT) scans. The model is based on a fully convolutional architecture, which makes it as fast and data-efficient as possible, and this type of a deep learning model can localize the mandibular canals highly accurately. It surpasses the statistical shape models, which have thus far been the best, automatized method to localize the mandibular canals.
When the patient does not have any special conditions, such as osteoporosis, the model is as accurate as a human specialist, and most patients that visit a dentist fall into this category. “In more complex cases, one may need to adjust the estimate, so we are not yet talking about a fully stand-alone system,” says Joel Jaskari, first author of the research paper. By using artificial intelligence, the machine performs the job equally fast and accurately every time. “The aim of this research work is not, however, to replace radiologists but to make their job faster and more efficient so that they will have time to focus on the most complex cases,” added Professor Kimmo Kaski.
Root Canal Study
More than 25 million root canals are treated yearly, and root canal treatment is perceived as no worse than other dental procedures, says a recent study from the University of Adelaide. The study - published in the Journal of Endodontics (JOE) and authored by Dr. Tallen Chew, comprised of self-reported data from 1,096 randomly selected Australian patients ages 30 to 61. It stated that literature assessing quality of life for subjects who have undergone root canal treatment (RCT) is scarce. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare the effect of RCT with other dental services - exodontia, restorative, prosthodontics, periodontics, and negative controls - preventative and scale and clean - on oral health-related quality of life. “Contrary to assumed popular belief, root canals have come a long way, and they are nothing to fear,” says Dr. Keith V. Krell, president of the American Association of Endodontists. “The procedure, when performed by an endodontist, can help alleviate a patient’s tooth pain. Such treatment also helps save a patient’s natural tooth versus costlier alternatives like extraction or implants.”
Root canal treatment is an often-straightforward procedure to relieve dental pain and save patients’ natural teeth. Patients typically need a root canal when there is inflammation or infection in the roots of a tooth. During root canal treatment, an endodontist carefully removes the pulp inside the tooth, cleans, disinfects and shapes the root canals, and places a filling to seal the space. The treatment alleviates tooth pain and can be a much better alternative to replacing one’s actual tooth. “Our teeth are a doorway to nutrition, a sign of emotion and a signal of overall good health,” Krell added. “Modern root canal treatment helps save patients’ teeth and no one is better equipped or trained to help a patient than an endodontist.”
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With over 30 years of writing and editing experience for newspapers, magazines and corporate communications, Kevin Kerfoot writes about natural health, nutrition, skincare and oral hygiene for Trusted Health Products’ natural health blog and newsletters.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.