Background Forensic dentistry identifies deceased individuals by comparing postmortem dental charts, oral-cavity pictures and dental X-ray images with antemortem records. However, conventional forensic dentistry methods are time-consuming and thus unable to rapidly identify large numbers of victims following a large-scale disaster. Objective Our goal is to automate the dental filing process by using intraoral scanner images. In this study, we generated and evaluated an artificial intelligence-based algorithm that classified images of individual molar teeth into three categories: (1) full metallic crown (FMC); (2) partial metallic restoration (In); or (3) sound tooth, carious tooth or non-metallic restoration (CNMR). Methods A pre-trained model was created using oral-cavity pictures from patients. Then, the algorithm was generated through transfer learning and training with images acquired from cadavers by intraoral scanning. Cross-validation was performed to reduce bias. The ability of the model to classify molar teeth into the three categories (FMC, In or CNMR) was evaluated using four criteria: precision, recall, F-measure and overall accuracy. Results The average value (variance) was 0.952 (0.000140) for recall, 0.957 (0.0000614) for precision, 0.952 (0.000145) for F-measure, and 0.952 (0.000142) for overall accuracy when the algorithm was used to classify images of molar teeth acquired from cadavers by intraoral scanning. Conclusion We have created an artificial intelligence-based algorithm that analyzes images acquired with an intraoral scanner and classifies molar teeth into one of three types (FMC, In or CNMR) based on the presence/absence of metallic restorations. Furthermore, the accuracy of the algorithm reached about 95%. This algorithm was constructed as a first step toward the development of an automated system that generates dental charts from images acquired by an intraoral scanner. The availability of such a system would greatly increase the efficiency of personal identification in the event of a major disaster.
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