Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 27 (2012), No. 3 15. June 2012
Purpose: When planning implant therapy, knowledge of the bone volume in the implant area is needed to plan and place implants in the most appropriate locations from the prosthetic and surgical perspectives. Commercial software for digital planning of implants in the craniofacial region is not yet available. This article describes a method that enables digital planning of extraoral implants in the mastoid region utilizing commercially available computer-aided design (CAD) software and rapid-prototyping techniques to manufacture a corresponding surgical guide.
Materials and Methods: With the aid of CAD software designed for reverse engineering and three-dimensional animation, digital implant planning based on cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scanning was performed. On the basis of this planning, surgical guides were digitally designed to facilitate the placement of dental implants in the mastoid area. The guides were fabricated using rapid prototyping. The appropriateness of the digitally designed surgical guides for placing extraoral implants was tested on six human cadaver heads with simulated bilateral ear defects. After implant placement, a second CBCT scan was performed to compare preoperative planning with the actual postoperative implant positions.
Results: Twenty-four implants were placed. The surgical guide helped the surgeon to place the implants at the preoperatively planned positions. Comparison of the CBCT scans revealed that adequate accuracy of implant placement was achieved, both for deviation of the neck (1.56 ± 0.56 mm) and the tip (1.40 ± 0.53 mm) of the implant, and for deviation of the angulation of the implant (0.97 ± 2.33 deg).
Conclusion: The presented method for digitally planning extraoral implants in the mastoid area and designing surgical guides allows for placement of implants in the mastoid area in close proximity to the preoperatively planned implant position. The actual implant positions were satisfactory both surgically and prosthetically.
Keywords: auricular prosthesis, computer-aided design, digitally designed surgical guide, extraoral implants, maxillofacial prosthesis, rapid prototyping