Rocha Presents AI in Dental Materials

Dr. Rocha
Mateus Rocha, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., received his dental degree from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2013, and his master’s and a PhD in dental materials from State University of Campinas, Brazil.

On June 7, as part of the UF College of Dentistry Faculty Research Seminar Series, Mateus Rocha, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Restorative Dental Sciences and co-director of the UF Center for Dental Biomaterials, presented, “The use of artificial intelligence and smart dental materials towards the future of dentistry.” His lecture shared broad insights on the basic concept of artificial intelligence, or AI, explored the uses of AI in restorative dentistry, and discussed nanotechnology applied to “smart” materials.

Rocha has dedicated his career to translational research with a focus on applying findings from basic science to enhance oral health. With a background in computer science and internships in the field of nanoscience and chemistry, Rocha has developed singular dental biomaterials and biodevices with patents, prototypes and products. In 2021, he was selected by UFCD dental students as the Basic Sciences Teacher of the Year.

Below is a summary of Rocha’s presentation:

Dental science is leveraging artificial intelligence-based solutions to help automate operations and make dental treatment faster and more effective. The latest systems incorporate deep learning neural networks to “read” electronic medical records like humans can, to identify and classify dental findings and interpret key health care data. In restorative dentistry, such systems can efficiently convert anthropometric data to design restorations and predict survival rates. Also, smart materials, also called responsive materials, are designed to have one or more properties that can be significantly changed by external stimuli, such as stress, moisture, electric or magnetic fields, light, temperature, pH, or chemical compounds. Although many responsive nanoparticles have been developed at the laboratory level, the transfer (or translation) of these technologies into clinical devices or materials has been challenging.

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