Research Article

Management of Dental Caries in Digital Era, Artificial Intelligence perspective – Scoping Review

Dr.Surbhi Kapoor*, Dr. Vinayam , Dr. Chander Mohan, Dr. Roopika Handa, Dr. Himakshi Kumari, Dr. Prajwal Singh Tomar


Received Date: 27/04/2022; Published Date: 09/05/2022

orresponding author: Dr.Surbhi Kapoor, Public Health Dentist, MDS, BDS;

DOI: 10.46718/JBGSR.2022.11.000276

Cite this article: Dr. Surbhi Kapoor*, Dr. Vinayam , Dr. Chander Mohan, Dr. Roopika Handa, Dr. Himakshi Kumari, Dr. Prajwal Singh Tomar.Management of Dental Caries in Digital Era, Artificial Intelligence perspective – Scoping Review


Dental Caries is defined as an irreversible microbial disease of the calcified tissue of teeth characterized by demineralization of the inorganic part and destruction of organic substance of the tooth which leads to cavitation [1]. Dental caries is the most prevalent dental disease worldwide. According to Global Burden Diseases 2017, most common health condition in permanent teeth is untreated dental caries [2]. The visual-tactile method is most commonly used technique in diagnosis of dental caries whereas in radiography bitewing radiography is most common [3]. Accuracy of early diagnosis of dental caries is still a challenging problem for dentists. Neural networks and artificial intelligence (AI) are increasingly being used in the field of dentistry.  AI technology has a possibility of improving patient care through better diagnostic aids and reduced errors in daily practice [4].

Artificial intelligence is defined as the theory and development of computer systems that are able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages [5]. Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) is a tool of artificial intelligence for effective analysis of images (Figure 1) [6]. Several limitations exist in healthcare like serious diagnostic errors, mistakes in treatment, an enormous waste of resources, inefficiencies in workflow, inequities, and inadequate time between patients and clinicians [7,8].  Leaders in healthcare and computer scientists have asserted that AI might have a role in addressing all these problems [9]. It has been estimated that, per day, AI would process over 250 million images for the cost of about $1,000 [10]. Artificial intelligence will be used in augmented reality for future remote eHealth [11,12].


Search Strategy

Various databases like NCBI (Pubmed), Google Scholar, Web of Science and SCOPUS were comprehensively searched for all research related to artificial intelligence integration in dental caries management from January 2000 till April 2022. The research work included in this review is according to the following inclusion criteria: 1. Full Text Articles in English language 2. Research work focusing on developing artificial intelligence network in dental caries diagnostics and therapeutics.  The keywords and MeSH terms (Medical Subject Heading) used were Dental Caries AND Artificial Intelligence”, “Dental Caries Diagnosis AND artificial Intelligence”, “Dental Caries AND Machine Learning”, “Dental Caries Management AND Artificial Intelligence”


The search yielded around 148 articles identified from electronic databases and 41 articles were identified through reference list. After removing the duplicates, the articles were screened based on eligibility criteria.  Information was taken from 25 articles

Artificial Intelligence Integrated in Dental Caries Management

AI in dentistry is a growing topic, as its benefits clinicians with a high quality patient care and simplifies complicated protocols by providing a predictable outcome. Its application evolves rapidly day by day [38]. The AI softwares that have been developed in field in dentistry have focused mainly on dental disease diagnostics. Many softwares have been developed and tested in diagnosis of dental caries which will act as an adjunct to Health Care Professionals. Majority of softwares (17 out of 25) were based on Convolutional Neural Network. CNN is useful in a lot of applications, especially in image related tasks. Applications of CNN include image classification, image semantic segmentation, object detection in images, etc. [39]. The AI diagnostic softwares by Hung M et al [15] and Duong DL et al [37] were Support Vector Machine based on machine learning algorithms. The power of an SVM stems from its ability to learn data classification patterns with balanced accuracy and reproducibility [40]. An Artificial Intelligence–Powered Smartphone App, AICaries by Xiao J [13] was the only mobile based application for self-screening for dental caries by people themselves.


Several softwares have been developed to enhance dental Caries diagnosis. The softwares are promising tools and enhance the diagnostic ability of caries detection via dental Xray, bitewing or panoramic. Only one tool was developed which was based on self-screening and dental awareness by the patient himself. All the tools have been developed and tested but none of them have been widely implemented in dental health care centres. The cost effectiveness of these tolls needs to be done before launching these tools in the market.

Recommendations and Conclusion

Dental diseases are highly prevalent in today’s era. In the digital era technology can play a prominent role in dental disease diagnostics, risk factor analysis, prognosis and management.  Artificial Intelligence software are helping dentists in accurate diagnosis and efficiently treating their patients. The advancements in artificial intelligence may still be in its nascent stage but in no way can replace human intelligence and skill. Artificial Intelligence can be utilized in various applications in dentistry other than enlisted in Table 1  like  modified dental chair with voice assistant, dental education, teleconsultation specially in covid era, modified dental radiography, oral cancer screening by mobile based AI application precision dental prosthesis, 3D scans and aligners, AI based laboratories to design precise dental restorations,  apex location or implantology for making precise surgical guides and identifying type of bone to cortical thickness etc.

Table 1: Artificial Intelligence based Dental Caries Management Software.

Affordable dental caries AI based diagnostic tools needs to be developed and validated after which they can launched in the market. Tools should focus on engaging people by giving more importance to self-screening tools. Ai based tools should also be developed that focus on dental caries risk factor analysis and dental caries prognosis. The field of artificial intelligence has grown tremendously in the last decade. While the advances in AI like neural networking, natural language processing, image recognition, and speech recognition have transformed the field of medicine and dentistry in many ways, they have a number of drawbacks and challenges that are yet to be overcome. One of which is the high initial capital equipment costs involved [41]. The culmination of artificial intelligence along with digitization has seen a new era in the field of dentistry and its future aspects appear extremely promising.


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