AI Tech to Help Automate Denture Design


Permanent teeth are typically lost due to dental disorders or trauma; this loss is frequent throughout the world’s population, especially among the elderly due to aging and generally worse oral health. Failure to replace a missing tooth can have negative effects on facial appearance and chewing ability as well as jawbone loss and tooth shifting, which can result in malocclusion and irregular bites and negatively influence the health of the remaining teeth, and gums, jaw muscles, and jaw points.


Bridges and dentures are prosthetic appliances used to replace lost teeth. Artificial teeth are another name for them. To preserve the patient’s original appearance, chewing ability, and oral and physical health, the false teeth must mimic the patient’s natural tooth. Due to the limited accuracy of novel technologies, the current computerized design process for dentures requires time-consuming manual inputs, the collection of information on the teeth’s occlusion, and several denture fitting procedures.



In order to increase treatment effectiveness and improve patient satisfaction, researchers from the Department of Computer Science at Chu Hai College of Higher Education and the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) developed a novel strategy using artificial intelligence to automate the design of customized dentures. 175 volunteers that were recruited at HKU were assessed using 3D Generative Adversarial Network (3D-GAN)-based AI technology. The study demonstrates that artificial intelligence (AI) technology might accurately automate the process of designing prosthetic teeth and rebuild the structure of a real, healthy tooth.


Dr. Reinhard Chau, a co-investigator, noted that the 3D GAN method was chosen because it performed better than other AI systems at reconstructing 3D objects. For 60% of the cases in the pilot investigation, 3D GAN was able to recreate teeth with shapes that were close to the originals. With additional AI training data, it is anticipated to mature.


The new method just needs a computerized representation of a patient’s dentition to work. It can create a false tooth that mimics a lost tooth by learning the characteristics of a person’s teeth from the rest of their dentition. Since the preparation and fitting processes will take very little time and a patient won’t need to spend a lot of time at the clinic, this will simplify the treatment workflow for dentists replacing a missing tooth, according to Principal Investigator Dr. Walter Lam.


Published in the journal PLoS ONE is a study titled “Artificial intelligence-designed single molar dental prostheses: A protocol of the prospective experimental study.” The study’s preliminary findings were recently presented at the IADR General Session of the International Association of Dental Research. The paper was awarded the IADR Neal Garrett Clinical Research Prize and placed first in the senior category for the 2022 IADR-SEA Hatton Award.


In 2021, the US orthodontics industry was estimated to be worth $3.23 billion. By 2029, the market is anticipated to have increased from US$3.76 billion in 2022 to US$9.60 billion, with a CAGR of 14.3%. One of the new market trends is the growing use of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) in dentistry operations. Since its origin, artificial intelligence (AI) has made great progress, and it now has a wide range of applications for solving problems, including in the field of dentistry.