When technology plays well together

Dr. Justin Moody reflects on guided surgery with the help of CBCT software and an in-office 3D printer.

Dr. Justin D. Moody discusses using compatible technologies to improve the implant experience

Over the past several years, the emergence of surgical guides for the placement of dental implants has come a long way. I can remember when it was no more than making a stent off a stone model trying to get a good prosthetic outcome — today, we would call this “crazy.” Along came cone beam CT software that could help us to virtually plan cases by showing the location of bone, and we could then use a third party to put the scan of a stone model to plan this together and get a printed surgical guide.

 Figure 1: Importing the surface scan into the Acteon® AIS software; Figure 2: Fully imported and aligned surface scan in AIS software ready for guide design
Figure 1: Importing the surface scan into the Acteon® AIS software; Figure 2: Fully imported and aligned surface scan in AIS software ready for guide design

Resourceful dentists began to cut out the middle man by buying 3D printers and starting to make their own surgical guides in-office. This has been the link to spontaneous dental work and surgical guides as now it is possible to do them same day.  Printers ran the gamut of sizes, accuracy, and price. I enjoyed early success with this as well — the workflow was a bit clunky, but we were able to provide guided surgery in a timely fashion.

Figures 3 and 4: 3. Implant planning in AIS software allows for guide sleeve positioning so that the guide design can be ideal to the site and patient. 4. Surgical guide STL exported for printing; here the supports are being designed to allow for consistent printing builds
Figures 3 and 4: 3. Implant planning in AIS software allows for guide sleeve positioning so that the guide design can be ideal to the site and patient. 4. Surgical guide STL exported for printing; here the supports are being designed to allow for consistent printing builds

Today the workflow has greatly improved, and this process is streamlined to the point where we don’t even need third-party software. Using Acteon’s latest version of AIS, we can import the surface scan into its CBCT software and design the surgical guide from the implant placement and prosthetic plan. This is the future of surgical guide fabrication as we now go from planning to guide to surgery in one software and in one day!

Figure 5: The SprintRay Pro 3D printer; Figure 6: Surgical guide with authentic BioHorizons sleeves and surgical kit ready for implant placement
Figure 5: The SprintRay Pro 3D printer; Figure 6: Surgical guide with authentic BioHorizons sleeves and surgical kit ready for implant placement

Dr. Steven Vorholt has been leading the charge at Implant Pathway to create a workflow that is user-friendly and clinically accurate. Using the SprintRay Pro as our preferred 3D printer, the quality and consistency of our guides has never been better. Don’t be afraid to jump in to the guided-surgery game; when used correctly, its accuracy, speed, and efficiency will save time and provide patients with the very best in dental implant treatment.

Guided surgery was an important part of Dr. Moody’s discussion of immediate molar dental implants. Read about it here: https://implantpracticeus.com/immediate-molar-dental-implants/.

Justin D. Moody, DDS, DABOI, DICOI, is a Diplomate in the American Board of Oral Implantology, Diplomate in the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, Honored Fellow, Fellow, and Associate Fellow in the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, and Adjunct Faculty at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He is an internationally known speaker, founder of the New Horizon Dental Center (nonprofit clinic), and Director of Implant Education for Implant Pathway. You can reach him at justin@justinmoodydds.com.

Disclosure: Dr. Moody has no contract or financial interest in Acteon®.

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