As part of Citizen Science Month 2023, we’re sharing excerpts from ‘Into the Zooniverse’, a series of books celebrating the projects and people of the Zooniverse.

You can find and download all editions of ‘Into the Zooniverse’ here.

Dental Disease Detection

DENTAL RADIOGRAPHY IS an essential tool for the diagnosis of dental diseases, however, the analysis of the x-ray radiographs produced is a time-consuming and error-prone process.  The Dental Disease Detection project is led by a collaboration of researchers, practitioners, and computer scientists at the University of Surrey, the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, and the Royal Surrey County Hospital. Their aim is to improve disease identification through the development of automatic approaches to spot signs of disease in dental radiographs.

The research team behind the Dental Disease Detection project are interested in automatically identifying common dental diseases; tartar, tooth decay and gum disease. It is important to identify and treat all of these diseases quickly, as they can cause significant problems such as bone loss, which is irreversible. However, the signs and symptoms of dental diseases can be hard to spot, making these conditions difficult to diagnose without inspection of a dental radiograph. Zooniverse volunteers are helping to improve the automatic identification of these diseases by drawing ‘bounding boxes’ (rectangles) on radiographs to mark the location of indicators of gum disease, tooth decay and plaque. 

Image credit: Dental Disease Detection Project

Summary by: Helen Spiers

Check out this project: here

View the full ‘Into the Zooniverse’ book: here