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Scientists Report Automatic Method for Studying 3D Reconstructions of Teeth

October 26, 2021
by Russian Foundation for Basic Research

Studies of palaeoanthropological finds related to different historical periods and territories have been conducted for recent years at the Department of Orthopaedic Dentistry of RUDN University. Researchers from RUDN: Samvel Apresyan (MD, Prof.) and Armen Gaboutchian (PhD) together with colleagues from MIPT and MSU have proposed a new technique for dental morphological research. The method is fully automated and works with 3D models of teeth obtained through micro-computed tomographic scanning. This method is used to study teeth from the world renowned archaeological site of Sunghir, however it can be used in regular dental practice as well. The results are published in the Journal of Imaging.

One of the methods widely used by anthropologists in human evolutionary and historical studies is odontometry – measuring teeth. Usually this technique requires application of odontometer, a tool similar to a pair of calipers with sharpened jaws which make measurements with an accuracy of up to one tenth of a millimetre. Researchers from the RUDN University had paid attention to the fact that existing technologies – micro computed tomography, 3D surface modelling and analysis allow to conduct a more detailed dental research. The development of the method was induced by observations and experience of dental practice — dentists always examine teeth studying their morphological traits (cusps and grooves). The proposed method of automated tomographic image processing is based on the suggested morphological interpretations. The presented method has been applied in the current work for analyses of ancient human teeth.

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