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Integration of 3D anatomical data obtained by CT imaging and 3D optical scanning for computer aided implant surgery

Gianni Frisardi12*, Giacomo Chessa2, Sandro Barone3, Alessandro Paoli3, Armando Razionale3 and Flavio Frisardi1

  • * Corresponding author: Gianni Frisardi

  • † Equal contributors

Author affiliations

1 "Epochè" Orofacial Pain Center, Nettuno (Rome), Italy

2 Department of Prosthetic Rehabilitation, University of Sassari, Italy

3 Department of Mechanical, Nuclear and Production Engineering, University of Pisa, Italy

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Citation and License

BMC Medical Imaging 2011, 11:5  doi:10.1186/1471-2342-11-5

Published: 21 February 2011



A precise placement of dental implants is a crucial step to optimize both prosthetic aspects and functional constraints. In this context, the use of virtual guiding systems has been recognized as a fundamental tool to control the ideal implant position. In particular, complex periodontal surgeries can be performed using preoperative planning based on CT data. The critical point of the procedure relies on the lack of accuracy in transferring CT planning information to surgical field through custom-made stereo-lithographic surgical guides.


In this work, a novel methodology is proposed for monitoring loss of accuracy in transferring CT dental information into periodontal surgical field. The methodology is based on integrating 3D data of anatomical (impression and cast) and preoperative (radiographic template) models, obtained by both CT and optical scanning processes.


A clinical case, relative to a fully edentulous jaw patient, has been used as test case to assess the accuracy of the various steps concurring in manufacturing surgical guides. In particular, a surgical guide has been designed to place implants in the bone structure of the patient. The analysis of the results has allowed the clinician to monitor all the errors, which have been occurring step by step manufacturing the physical templates.


The use of an optical scanner, which has a higher resolution and accuracy than CT scanning, has demonstrated to be a valid support to control the precision of the various physical models adopted and to point out possible error sources. A case study regarding a fully edentulous patient has confirmed the feasibility of the proposed methodology.