Dentures or bridges are prosthetics used to replace missing teeth. Replacing these teeth are essential for retaining chewing function and stop malocclusion or bite irregularities. The prosthetic also serves an aesthetic function, so they are generally matched to the patient’s original teeth for a natural appearance.

Designing and creating dentures is currently a time-consuming process. A computerized design must be created through various manual inputs and tooth occlusion information collection. Patients will also go through several fittings due to the limited accuracy of current technology.

But a new study suggests all of this could be about to change!

The faculty of dentistry at the University of Hong Kong and the department of computer science at Chu Hai College of Higher education have collaborated to use artificial intelligence (AI) to automate the design of individualised dentures. The process will improve treatment efficiency and the patient’s experience.

To create the dentures a 3D Generative Adversarial Network (3D-GAN) algorithm is used. After testing on 175 participants the researchers showed that the AI could reconstruct the appearance of a natural, healthy tooth with high accuracy.

All that is required to create the dentures is a digital model of the patient’s dentition. Principal investigator Walter Lam said, “the preparation and fitting process will require minimal time, and a patient will not need to stay at the clinic for long hours.”