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3D Printed Guides for Implant Surgery: better accuracy?

Last Updated July 10, 2018
Reviewed By:  OsseoNews Team

Careful treatment planning before placing implants is essential for ensuring a successful outcome. The use of surgical guides has become popular in implant dentistry, simply because they make implant placement and restoration more predictable. With the growing advancement in technology, it is now possible to use desktop 3-D printers with intraoral scanning and implant planning software, to fabricate surgical guides in-office. But, how accurate are these guides and how does fully-guided surgery with these guides compare to the alternative? A recent study 1, was done to determine the accuracy of tooth-supported guided implant surgery using desktop printed stereolithographic (i.e. 3D Printed) guides. A cross-sectional study comparing fully and partially guided implant surgery was conducted.

The authors conclude that:

The difference between the variances for fully and partially guided surgery for the distal and angulation dimensions was statistically significant…Anterior implants had less variation in deviation than posterior implants…Fully guided implant surgery is more accurate than partially guided implant surgery. Implant positional deviation is influenced by implant location but not implant systems or software. If possible, clinicians should use guided surgery protocols that allow placement of implants through a surgical guide.Read More

In another study 2 conducted late last year, a different group of authors concluded that:

In-office fabricated stereolithographic implant surgical guides show similar accuracy to laboratory- or manufacturer-prepared guides. This technique provides a convenient and cost-effective means of assuring proper implant placement.2

Is anyone using a 3-D printer in their office now to fabricate surgical guides? If so, do you feel this has improved your treatment planning and outcomes? What are your thoughts on the future of in-office 3-D printing of guides?

1.In Vivo Tooth-Supported Implant Surgical Guides Fabricated With Desktop Stereolithographic Printers: Fully Guided Surgery Is More Accurate Than Partially Guided Surgery..J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2018 Jul;76(7):1431-1439. Bencharit S.

2.How Accurate Are Implant Surgical Guides Produced With Desktop Stereolithographic 3-Dimentional Printers?J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2017 Dec;75(12):2559.e1-2559.e8. Deeb GR

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