Surgical Planning and Prosthesis Construction Using Computer Technology and Medical Imaging for Immediate Loading of Implants in the Pterygomaxillary Region

Stephen F. Balshi, MBE / Glenn J. Wolfinger, DMD, FACP / Thomas J. Balshi, DDS, PhD, FACP

Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent 2006;26:239 247.

This report describes a protocol that uses computerized tomography (CT), computer-aided design/computer-assisted manufacture (CAD/CAM) technology, and the Internet to plan placement of anterior and posterior dental implants and construct a precise surgical template and definitive prosthesis, which is connected at the time of implant placement. This procedure drastically reduces surgical treatment time and the recovery period. Patients with an edentulous arch had a denture with radiopaque markers constructed for CT scans of the appropriate jaw. The CT images, with acquisition slices of 0.5 mm, were transferred into a three-dimensional image-based program for planning and strategic placement of dental implants. After implants were virtually placed on the computer, the surgical treatment plan was sent to a manufacturing facility for construction of a surgical template and the prosthesis. Special surgical guide components were also manufactured for placement of implants in the pterygomaxillary region. The manufactured surgical components, surgical template, and definitive prosthesis were then delivered to the clinical site. Implant placement surgery was performed using the surgical template, without a flap, and the prosthesis was delivered, achieving immediate functional loading. Minor occlusal adjustments were made. The total surgical treatment time required was less than 60 minutes. Postoperative symptoms, such as pain, swelling, and inflammation, were minimal. Identification of the bone in relationship to the tooth position via three-dimensional CT prior to surgery allows precise placement of implants. CAD/CAM technology using the three-dimensional images allows for fabrication of the surgical guide and final prosthesis. This is a significant advancement in implant dentistry and prosthodontics.

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