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Sensors (Basel). 2013 Feb 5;13(2):2033-50. doi: 10.3390/s130202033.

Creation of 3D multi-body orthodontic models by using independent imaging sensors.

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Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering, University of Pisa, Largo Lucio Lazzarino n.1, Pisa, Italy.


In the field of dental health care, plaster models combined with 2D radiographs are widely used in clinical practice for orthodontic diagnoses. However, complex malocclusions can be better analyzed by exploiting 3D digital dental models, which allow virtual simulations and treatment planning processes. In this paper, dental data captured by independent imaging sensors are fused to create multi-body orthodontic models composed of teeth, oral soft tissues and alveolar bone structures. The methodology is based on integrating Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) and surface structured light scanning. The optical scanner is used to reconstruct tooth crowns and soft tissues (visible surfaces) through the digitalization of both patients' mouth impressions and plaster casts. These data are also used to guide the segmentation of internal dental tissues by processing CBCT data sets. The 3D individual dental tissues obtained by the optical scanner and the CBCT sensor are fused within multi-body orthodontic models without human supervisions to identify target anatomical structures. The final multi-body models represent valuable virtual platforms to clinical diagnostic and treatment planning.

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