Objectives

To evaluate an artificial intelligence (AI) model in predicting soft tissue and alveolar bone changes following orthodontic treatment and compare the predictive performance of the AI model with conventional prediction models.

Materials and Methods

A total of 1774 lateral cephalograms of 887 adult patients who had undergone orthodontic treatment were collected. Patients who had orthognathic surgery were excluded. On each cephalogram, 78 landmarks were detected using PIPNet-based AI. Prediction models consisted of 132 predictor variables and 88 outcome variables. Predictor variables were demographics (age, sex), clinical (treatment time, premolar extraction), and Cartesian coordinates of the 64 anatomic landmarks. Outcome variables were Cartesian coordinates of the 22 soft tissue and 22 hard tissue landmarks after orthodontic treatment. The AI prediction model was based on the TabNet deep neural network. Two conventional statistical methods, multivariate multiple linear regression (MMLR) and partial least squares regression (PLSR), were each implemented for comparison. Prediction accuracy among the methods was compared.

Results

Overall, MMLR demonstrated the most accurate results, while AI was least accurate. AI showed superior predictions in only 5 of the 44 anatomic landmarks, all of which were soft tissue landmarks inferior to menton to the terminal point of the neck.

Conclusions

When predicting changes following orthodontic treatment, AI was not as effective as conventional statistical methods. However, AI had an outstanding advantage in predicting soft tissue landmarks with substantial variability. Overall, results may indicate the need for a hybrid prediction model that combines conventional and AI methods.

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Author notes

a

 Graduate Student (PhD), Department of Orthodontics, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.

b

 Private Practice, Cheonan, Korea.

c

 Research Scientist, AI Research Center, DDH Inc, Seoul, Korea.

d

 Clinical Lecturer, Department of Orthodontics, Seoul National University Dental Hospital, Seoul, Korea.

e

 Private Practice, West Palm Beach, Florida, USA.

f

 Professor, Department of Orthodontics and Dental Research Institute, Seoul National University School of Dentistry, Seoul, Korea.