Dental Imaging Team – The Camera Hardware Story

We started the workshop using a standard intra oral camera, which we used for the majority of the workshop, since our main aim was to develop image processing algorithms.

Intraoral Camera

Intraoral Camera

The camera uses 6 LED’s to illuminate the mouth and a conventional RGB sensor to capture the intraoral image. This camera works good for major purposes, but one of the major problems with the camera is that since the tooth don’t behave like ideal Lambertian surfaces, we see some specularity in the image, which are visible in the image below.

Tooth image with specularity

Tooth image with specularity

Specularity results in false segments when we perform segmentation for caries detection (–link to caries detection blog–), hence we tried to remove them. We use a polariser filter for this purpose.

Intraoral Camera with Polariser

Intraoral Camera with Polariser

A polariser filter with some orientation is attached in front of all the 6 LED’s. We use the polariser in the perpendicular orientation for the camera.

Tooth image without specularity

Tooth image without specularity

As is clearly visible comparing the above image with the one taken from a camera without the polariser, the polariser gives a huge improvement in getting rid of the specularity.

There are a lot of ideas that we have in mind about how this hardware should look in the final product. We visualise this to be integrated with the only oral tool that we all use everyday, a toothbrush.

We modified a standard off the shelf toothbrush to see if it could act as an imaging device as well.We fitted a very small camera inside the toothbrush as can be seen in the image below.

Modified Toothbrush

Modified Toothbrush

This is a functional device from which we are able to take images and it could potentially shape into the future consumer product in hands of every citizen of the world.

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