In this study, a deep learning-based method for developing an automated diagnostic support system that detects periodontal bone loss in the panoramic dental radiographs is proposed. The presented method called DeNTNet not only detects lesions but also provides the corresponding teeth numbers of the lesion according to dental federation notation. DeNTNet applies deep convolutional neural networks(CNNs) using transfer learning and clinical prior knowledge to overcome the morphological variation of the lesions and imbalanced training dataset. With 12,179 panoramic dental radiographs annotated by experienced dental clinicians, DeNTNet was trained, validated, and tested using 11,189, 190, and 800 panoramic dental radiographs, respectively. Each experimental model was subjected to comparative study to demonstrate the validity of each phase of the proposed method. When compared to the dental clinicians, DeNTNet achieved the F1 score of 0.75 on the test set, whereas the average performance of dental clinicians was 0.69.
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