Accurate segmentation of the jaw (i.e., mandible and maxilla) and the teeth in cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans is essential for orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning. Although various (semi)automated methods have been proposed to segment the jaw or the teeth, there is still a lack of fully automated segmentation methods that can simultaneously segment both anatomic structures in CBCT scans (i.e., multiclass segmentation). In this study, we aimed to train and validate a mixed-scale dense (MS-D) convolutional neural network for multiclass segmentation of the jaw, the teeth, and the background in CBCT scans. Thirty CBCT scans were obtained from patients who had undergone orthodontic treatment. Gold standard segmentation labels were manually created by 4 dentists. As a benchmark, we also evaluated MS-D networks that segmented the jaw or the teeth (i.e., binary segmentation). All segmented CBCT scans were converted to virtual 3-dimensional (3D) models. The segmentation performance of all trained MS-D networks was assessed by the Dice similarity coefficient and surface deviation. The CBCT scans segmented by the MS-D network demonstrated a large overlap with the gold standard segmentations (Dice similarity coefficient: 0.934 ± 0.019, jaw; 0.945 ± 0.021, teeth). The MS-D network–based 3D models of the jaw and the teeth showed minor surface deviations when compared with the corresponding gold standard 3D models (0.390 ± 0.093 mm, jaw; 0.204 ± 0.061 mm, teeth). The MS-D network took approximately 25 s to segment 1 CBCT scan, whereas manual segmentation took about 5 h. This study showed that multiclass segmentation of jaw and teeth was accurate and its performance was comparable to binary segmentation. The MS-D network trained for multiclass segmentation would therefore make patient-specific orthodontic treatment more feasible by strongly reducing the time required to segment multiple anatomic structures in CBCT scans.

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Journal of Dental Research
Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Amsterdam (CWI), The Netherlands

Wang, H, Minnema, J, Batenburg, K.J, Forouzanfar, T, Hu, F.J, & Wu, G. (2021). Multiclass CBCT image segmentation for orthodontics with deep learning. Journal of Dental Research, 100(9). doi:10.1177/00220345211005338