Karanth Awarded AAOF Fellowship Award

Dr. Divakar Karanth AAOF Faculty Fellowship Award
l to r: Department of Orthodontics Chair Dr. Cal Dolce, Orthodontics Graduate Program Director Dr. Divakar Karanth and UF College of Dentistry Dean Dr. Isabel Garcia.

UF College of Dentistry clinical associate professor and program director of graduate orthodontics Divakar Karanth, B.D.S., M.D.S., M.S., M.Orth. R.C.S., was awarded a $30,000 James A. McNamara Orthodontic Faculty Fellowship Award from the American Association of Orthodontists Foundation, or AAOF, for his research project, “Machine Learning Model to Assess the External Apical Root Resorption from the CBCT Image.”

Karanth will utilize the AAOF fellowship award to implement artificial intelligence in orthodontics to provide better care for patients, particularly when it comes to undetected root resorption, the process in which inflammation results in the body progressively breaking down and resorbing the roots. Although low levels of root resorption always occur in orthodontics and are generally insignificant, a few patients are susceptible to severe resorption.

Dr. Divakar Karanth, UFCD Orthodontics
Dr. Divakar Karanth

Undetected root resorption causes significant harm to orthodontic patients, and available detection methods are inadequate — a problem Karanth aims to remedy utilizing artificial intelligence. An AI program that would identify root resorption from cone beam computed tomography, or CBCT, data would serve a vital need in orthodontics.

Karanth’s research aims to develop an artificial intelligence algorithm that will help clinicians diagnose and quantify the amount and severity of the root volume loss from CBCT scans. No research has been done regarding the automated diagnosis of root resorption in orthodontic patients. This automated approach would serve as an alternative to a clinician’s subjective visual examination and interpretation, thus assisting orthodontists in the early diagnosis of root resorption from the progress radiographs, and pausing the orthodontic treatment on time to prevent further resorption.

Karanth is working on developing a research lab and establishing a solid interdisciplinary team at the University of Florida, with a preliminary focus on artificial intelligence, and engaging with pre-dental, dental and orthodontic residents in his research. The ultimate goal is to establish national and international research collaborations.