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Hoss, Patrick; Hickel, Reinhard; Kühnisch, Jan ORCID: 0000-0003-4063-2291; Dujic, Helena (2023): Detection of Periodontal Bone Loss on Periapical Radiographs—A Diagnostic Study Using Different Convolutional Neural Networks. Journal Clinical Medicine, 12: 7189. ISSN 2077-0383

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Interest in machine learning models and convolutional neural networks (CNNs) for diagnostic purposes is steadily increasing in dentistry. Here, CNNs can potentially help in the classification of periodontal bone loss (PBL). In this study, the diagnostic performance of five CNNs in detecting PBL on periapical radiographs was analyzed. A set of anonymized periapical radiographs (N = 21,819) was evaluated by a group of trained and calibrated dentists and classified into radiographs without PBL or with mild, moderate, or severe PBL. Five CNNs were trained over five epochs. Statistically, diagnostic performance was analyzed using accuracy (ACC), sensitivity (SE), specificity (SP), and area under the receiver operating curve (AUC). Here, overall ACC ranged from 82.0% to 84.8%, SE 88.8–90.7%, SP 66.2–71.2%, and AUC 0.884–0.913, indicating similar diagnostic performance of the five CNNs. Furthermore, performance differences were evident in the individual sextant groups. Here, the highest values were found for the mandibular anterior teeth (ACC 94.9–96.0%) and the lowest values for the maxillary posterior teeth (78.0–80.7%). It can be concluded that automatic assessment of PBL seems to be possible, but that diagnostic accuracy varies depending on the location in the dentition. Future research is needed to improve performance for all tooth groups.

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