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To achieve the complete three-dimensional (3-D) data retrieval of the shape of dentition, dental casts were measured from four directions; occlusal, right, left, and labial sides using a line laser scanner. Reconstruction of the entire shape, including undercuts and tooth crowding area, was attempted by applying a perceptual grouping algorithm, which is one of pattern-recognition theories. In the data measured from occlusal, right and left sides, the rows of measurements were parallel to the frontal plane, and three-directionally combined data (3-DC data) was accomplished by affine transformation. While, in the labial side, transformation to the frontal plane was done since rows of the measured data were parallel to the sagittal plane. To combine the labial data with the 3-DC data and reconstruct the complete image, rearrangement of the order of the data in the file was attempted by applying the perceptual grouping. That is, the minimum total length of data combining was examined by considering the factor of proximity and continuity between the data. The most appropriate order of data combining and recognition of islands were accomplished. Using a computer graphic (CG) with a wire-frame model, complicated regions such as anterior segments showing tooth crowding and undercut area were found to be successfully reconstructed without any data defects. The accuracy of reconstruction was ascertained by comparing the characteristic distances between apexes of molars in the reconstructed model with the real cast. The difference was within 0.3 mm, and present method for dental cast reconstruction is considered to be satisfactory for the present purpose such as orthodontics.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2001