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Tooth segmentation of dental study models using range images

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3 Author(s)
Kondo, T. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Nat. Univ. of Singapore, Singapore ; Ong, S.H. ; Foong, K.W.C.

The accurate segmentation of the teeth from the digitized representation of a dental study model is an important component in computer-based algorithms for orthodontic feature detection and measurement and in the simulation of orthodontic procedures such as tooth rearrangement. This paper presents an automated method for tooth segmentation from the three-dimensional (3-D) digitized image captured by a laser scanner. We avoid the complexity of directly processing 3-D mesh data by proposing the innovative idea of detecting features on two range images computed from the 3-D image. The dental arch is first obtained from the plan-view range image. Using the arch as the reference, a panoramic range image of the dental model can be computed. The interstices between the teeth are detected separately in the two range images, and results from both views are combined for a determination of interstice locations and orientations. Finally, the teeth are separated from the gums by delineating the gum margin. The algorithm was tested on 34 dental models representing a variety of malocclusions and was found to be robust and accurate.

Published in:

Medical Imaging, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:23 ,  Issue: 3 )