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CASE PRESENTATION: Designing an Implant Surgical Guide Using 3D Technology

Categories: Implant Dentistry

Author(s): Zachary Evans, DMD, PhD, Robert Gellin, DMD

Date: 05-10-2020 08:17:28 am

Prosthetically driven digital implant planning is revolutionizing implant dentistry, resulting in improved surgical and prosthetic outcomes. Likewise, utilizing a full digital workflow with in-house 3D printing and milling improves the efficiency of implant cases, resulting in better patient experiences. One of my passions is to teach digital implant dentistry to other clinicians, especially to expe­rienced implant surgeons. This case provided a unique opportunity for me to help one of my men­tors, Dr. Robert Gellin, with his first digital implant planning case. A combination of challenging esthet­ics, emergence, intraosseous residual endodontic material, and malocclusion motivated Dr. Gellin to digitally plan this single-unit anterior case as a guided surgery from start to finish.

The patient presented with an intact edentulous ridge at site No. 10 with a possible retained root fragment and residual endodontic material in that position, but with adequate ridge dimensions for implant placement.

Digital Implant Planning and Treatment

A CBCT image was captured using the Planmeca ProMax 3D Max, and a scan of the intraoral tissues was merged in the Planmeca Romexis implant planning software. A digital waxup was created in the Romexis CAD/CAM module with considerations of occlusion, gingival margin, incisal edge position, emergence profile, and prosthetic connection. This data was observed in tandem when virtually positioning the implant, with careful attention to place the implant in an ideal relationship to the labial plate of bone, adjacent anatomy, and to allow proper positioning of the implant platform for prosthetic success and future health. A virtual temporary abutment was placed and all of the planned elements were exported from Romexis to Meshmixer (Autodesk) to create the screw access hole through the planned restoration. The prosthesis was milled from CERASMART (GC America) on a Planmeca PlanMill 30 S, then cemented to the abutment to create an immediate temporary restoration. A surgical guide was designed with the Romexis guide design module, and the guide was 3D printed. A metal Steco guide sleeve was luted into the guide’s sleeve holder, and the guide was processed in preparation for clinical use. On the day of surgery, fully guided Astra twist drills (Dentsply Sirona) were used to prepare the osteotomy via flapless approach and an Astra Tech OsseoSpeed EV 3.6 x 9-mm implant (Dentsply Sirona) was inserted with torque exceeding 45 Ncm. The temporary was seated with minimal adjustment, confirming lack of occlusion. Postoperative healing was uneventful and the implant is now fully integrated.


The treatment plan is evolving for this patient. She is now interested in restoration of the maxillary anterior teeth to improve function and esthetics. We can be confident that because of the careful planning and accurate implant position, the potential restorative outcome will be successful. Dr. Gellin felt that this case was an enlightening experience compared to how he’d been handling implants previously. Digital implant planning, he said, is a method that allows the clinician to come as close as possible to a perfect result.Fig 1 - 6


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