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J Periodontol. 2005 Apr;76(4):503-7.

Clinical application of stereolithographic surgical guides for implant placement: preliminary results.

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Department of Periodontics and Implantology, School of Dentistry, University of Santo Amaro, São Paulo, Brazil.



The success of implant-supported restorations requires detailed treatment planning, which includes the construction of a surgical guide. Recently, computer-aided rapid prototyping has been developed to construct surgical guides in an attempt to improve the precision of implant placement. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the match between the positions and axes of the planned and placed implants when a stereolithographic surgical guide is employed.


Six surgical guides used in four patients (three women, one man; age from 23 to 65 years old) were included in the study and 21 implants were placed. A radiographic template was fabricated and computer-assisted tomography (CT) was performed. The virtual implants were placed in the resulting 3-dimensional image. Using a stereolithographic machine, liquid polymer was injected and laser-cured according to the CT image data with the planned implants, generating three surgical guides, with increasing tube diameters corresponding to each twist drill diameter (2.2, 3.2, and 4.0 mm), for each surgical area. During the implant operation, the surgical guide was placed on the jawbone and/or the teeth. After surgery, a new CT scan was taken. Software was used to fuse the images of planned and placed implants, and the locations and axes were compared.


On average, the match between the planned and the placed implant axes was within 7.25 degrees +/- 2.67 degrees ; the differences in distance between the planned and placed positions at the implant shoulder were 1.45 +/- 1.42 mm, and 2.99 +/- 1.77 mm at the implant apex. In all patients, a greater distance was found between the planned and placed positions at the implant apex than at the implant head.


Clinical data suggest that computer-aided rapid prototyping of surgical guides may be useful in implant placement. However, the technique requires improvement to provide better stability of the guide during the surgery, in cases of unilateral bone-supported and non-tooth-supported guides. Further clinical studies, using greater number of patients, are necessary to evaluate the real impact of the stereolithographic surgical guide on implant therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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