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Clin Oral Implants Res. 2013 Aug;24 Suppl A100:152-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0501.2011.02407.x. Epub 2012 Feb 13.

Virtual implant planning in the edentulous maxilla: criteria for decision making of prosthesis design.

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  • 1Department of Prosthodontics, School of Dental Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland.



To evaluate prosthetic parameters in the edentulous anterior maxilla for decision making between fixed and removable implant prosthesis using virtual planning software.


CT- or DVT-scans of 43 patients (mean age 62 ± 8 years) with an edentulous maxilla were analyzed with the NobelGuide software. Implants (≥3.5 mm diameter, ≥10 mm length) were virtually placed in the optimal three-dimensional prosthetic position of all maxillary front teeth. Anatomical and prosthetic landmarks, including the cervical crown point (C-Point), the acrylic flange border (F-Point), and the implant-platform buccal-end (I-Point) were defined in each middle section to determine four measuring parameters: (1) acrylic flange height (FLHeight), (2) mucosal coverage (MucCov), (3) crown-Implant distance (CID) and (4) buccal prosthesis profile (ProsthProfile). Based on these parameters, all patients were assigned to one of three classes: (A) MucCov ≤ 0 mm and ProsthProfile≥45(0) allowing for fixed prosthesis, (B) MucCov = 0-5 mm and/or ProsthProfile = 30(0) -45(0) probably allowing for fixed prosthesis, and (C) MucCov ≥ 5 mm and/or ProsthProfile ≤ 30(0) where removable prosthesis is favorable. Statistical analyses included descriptive methods and non-parametric tests.


Mean values were for FLHeight 10.0 mm, MucCov 5.6 mm, CID 7.4 mm, and ProsthProfile 39.1(0) . Seventy percent of patients fulfilled class C criteria (removable), 21% class B (probably fixed), and 2% class A (fixed), while in 7% (three patients) bone volume was insufficient for implant planning.


The proposed classification and virtual planning procedure simplify the decision-making process regarding type of prosthesis and increase predictability of esthetic treatment outcomes. It was demonstrated that in the majority of cases, the space between the prosthetic crown and implant platform had to be filled with prosthetic materials.

© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.


computer-assisted implantology; decision making; edentulous maxilla; three-dimensional; virtual implant planning

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