Jaw tissues segmentation in dental 3D CT images using fuzzy-connectedness and morphological processing

Autores UPV
Revista Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine


The success of oral surgery is subject to accurate advanced planning. In order to properly plan for dental surgery or a suitable implant placement, it is necessary an accurate segmentation of the jaw tissues: the teeth, the cortical bone, the trabecular core and over all, the inferior alveolar nerve. This manuscript presents a new automatic method that is based on fuzzy connectedness object extraction and mathematical morphology processing. The method uses computed tomography data to extract different views of the jaw: a pseudo-orthopantomographic view to estimate the path of the nerve and cross-sectional views to segment the jaw tissues. The method has been tested in a groundtruth set consisting of more than 9000 cross-sections from 20 different patients and has been evaluated using four similarity indicators (the Jaccard index, Dice's coefficient, point-to-point and point-to-curve distances), achieving promising results in all of them (0.726 ± 0.031, 0.840 ± 0.019, 0.144 ± 0.023 mm and 0.163 ± 0.025 mm, respectively). The method has proven to be significantly automated and accurate, with errors around 5% (of the diameter of the nerve), and is easily integrable in current dental planning systems. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.