Evaluation of multi-task learning in deep learning-based positioning classification of mandibular third molars

Shintaro Sukegawa, Tamamo Matsuyama, Futa Tanaka, Takeshi Hara, Kazumasa Yoshii, Katsusuke Yamashita, Keisuke Nakano, Kiyofumi Takabatake, Hotaka Kawai, Hitoshi Nagatsuka, Yoshihiko Furuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Pell and Gregory, and Winter’s classifications are frequently implemented to classify the mandibular third molars and are crucial for safe tooth extraction. This study aimed to evaluate the classification accuracy of convolutional neural network (CNN) deep learning models using cropped panoramic radiographs based on these classifications. We compared the diagnostic accuracy of single-task and multi-task learning after labeling 1330 images of mandibular third molars from digital radiographs taken at the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at a general hospital (2014–2021). The mandibular third molar classifications were analyzed using a VGG 16 model of a CNN. We statistically evaluated performance metrics [accuracy, precision, recall, F1 score, and area under the curve (AUC)] for each prediction. We found that single-task learning was superior to multi-task learning (all p < 0.05) for all metrics, with large effect sizes and low p-values. Recall and F1 scores for position classification showed medium effect sizes in single and multi-task learning. To our knowledge, this is the first deep learning study to examine single-task and multi-task learning for the classification of mandibular third molars. Our results demonstrated the efficacy of implementing Pell and Gregory, and Winter’s classifications for specific respective tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number684
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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