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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 187173, 10 pages
Research Article

Automatic Tooth Segmentation of Dental Mesh Based on Harmonic Fields

1School of Information Science and Engineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
2Department of Stomatology, First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou 325000, China
3Department of Stomatology, Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha 410008, China
4Xiangya Stomatological Hospital of Central South University, Changsha 410008, China

Received 27 September 2014; Accepted 6 January 2015

Academic Editor: Ilker Ercan

Copyright © 2015 Sheng-hui Liao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An important preprocess in computer-aided orthodontics is to segment teeth from the dental models accurately, which should involve manual interactions as few as possible. But fully automatic partition of all teeth is not a trivial task, since teeth occur in different shapes and their arrangements vary substantially from one individual to another. The difficulty is exacerbated when severe teeth malocclusion and crowding problems occur, which is a common occurrence in clinical cases. Most published methods in this area either are inaccurate or require lots of manual interactions. Motivated by the state-of-the-art general mesh segmentation methods that adopted the theory of harmonic field to detect partition boundaries, this paper proposes a novel, dental-targeted segmentation framework for dental meshes. With a specially designed weighting scheme and a strategy of a priori knowledge to guide the assignment of harmonic constraints, this method can identify teeth partition boundaries effectively. Extensive experiments and quantitative analysis demonstrate that the proposed method is able to partition high-quality teeth automatically with robustness and efficiency.