Jerry Li-Chia Tai, PhD; Ammar Amjad, PhD; Getaneh Berie Tarekegn; Sue-Yuan Fan; Sucharita Khuntia; Ci-Ruei Liou; Po-Hsiang Juan; Yi-Pin Huang; Chien-Hung Fan
Competition Sponsor: Academia Sinica of Taiwan
Awardee Year: 2022
Oral health has been an indicator of longevity in the modern world. In an article by the Lancet Healthy Longevity in 2021, it notes that oral conditions are typically preventable or treatable, but are often neglected. Across the world, untreated dental cavities in permanent teeth affect about 2.5 billion people worldwide. Within that population, approximately 30% of adults in the 65-74 years old range are edentulous, or lacking teeth. Ultimately, tooth loss has significant consequences on the health of an aging population in terms of disability for nutrition intake and quality of life. In this regard, we propose a novel platform that seamlessly integrates mini-cameras with an impression tray, which is commonly used in dental practices to facilitate the insertion and removal of impression materials, to provide a convenient approach to monitor the oral health of an individual. The impression tray is selected because of its biocompatibility, affordability and portability. The integrated device possesses the potential to provide early alerts for cavities. We aim to achieve several milestones: (1) Ergonomic integration of cameras with an impression tray for unhindered insertion into mouth. (2) The distance from the camera to its imaging area varies depending on its location. To avoid blurry images, we’ll optimize the focal length and coverage area of each camera. (3) After the images are captured, our algorithm will need to distinguish cavities versus color stains or other artifacts. With improved oral health for the general population, we hope to improve the health and longevity of humankind.
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