Close this search box.

We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

HKU Dentistry uses AI For Smart Dental Crown Manufacturing

Image Credits: HKU, Press Release

The Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) is using generative AI and dental manufacturing technology to create an innovative method of smart manufacturing for dental crowns, according to leading researchers.

Dr James Tsoi, Associate Professor in Dental Materials Science, and his team have collaborated with colleagues from HKU’s Faculty of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science to advance the production workflow of AI-designed dental prostheses.

Using a true 3D deep learning approach, the researchers created a generative AI algorithm that can accurately produce personalized dental crowns, mimicking the morphology and materials necessary for natural teeth biomechanics. The biomechanical analysis demonstrated that crowns designed with lithium silicate using this AI method can approach the expected lifespan of natural teeth. In comparison, the two current methods of dental crown design often result in crowns that are too thick or too thin and do not achieve the same lifespan as natural teeth.

The publication titled “Morphology and mechanical performance of dental crown designed by 3D-DCGAN” has been released in the esteemed academic journal Dental Materials.

While the Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) digital workflow has improved dentistry, it still has its drawbacks. The process of designing and manufacturing dental prostheses is time-consuming, labour-intensive, and poses health and environmental risks during 3D printing and milling. The software employs a “tooth library” containing pre-defined crown templates to aid in generating prosthetic designs, but additional adjustments are required by the operator to account for individual conditions.

The research team’s smart manufacturing method has the potential to replace the conventional approach to designing personalised dental crowns.

Dr Hao Ding, a co-investigator on the project, stated that the research team employed a 3D-Deep Convolutional Generative Adversarial Network (3D-DCGAN) approach to training the AI algorithm by providing it with more than 600 samples of healthy natural teeth. Through internal competition between a generator and a discriminator, the algorithm’s design quality is improved.

As a part of the training process, the algorithm was able to learn natural teeth’s morphological characteristics, enabling it to create dental crowns that closely resemble and function similarly to natural teeth.

To evaluate the effectiveness of the 3D-DCGAN AI-designed crowns, they were compared to natural teeth and two other conventional CAD methods of crown design. The comparison demonstrated that the generative AI-designed crowns had the least 3D discrepancy, a cusp angle closest to natural teeth in terms of morphological features, and similar occlusal contacts in terms of functional features.

The research findings suggest that 3D-DCGAN can be used to create personalized dental crowns that closely resemble natural teeth in terms of morphology and biomechanics. The algorithm’s ability to generate designs without the need for further human fine-tuning could result in cost savings during the production process.

According to Dr James Tsoi, the lead researcher of the study, while many AI approaches can create products that resemble natural teeth, this is the first project to implement functional data-driven AI into real dental applications. He hopes that this smart manufacturing technology will pave the way for Industry 4.0 in dentistry, which is essential to tackle the challenges of an ageing society and a shortage of dental personnel in Hong Kong.

Clinical trials are currently underway to assess the effectiveness of using this generative AI technology for dental crowns. Additionally, the research team is exploring the potential applicability of this tool for designing other dental prostheses, such as bridges and dentures.

The study received support from various funding schemes including the General Research Fund (GRF), the Innovation and Technology Fund Mainland-Hong Kong Joint Funding Scheme (ITF-MHKJFS), and the Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF).

Dr Hao Ding presented the preliminary results at the 35th Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Association of Dental Research (IADR) Southeast Asia (SEA) and was awarded the leading IADR-SEA Research Category Award (Dental Materials and Biomaterials Category) in 2021.


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.