Switching Between Virtual Planning and Reality: A Teamwork Approach

Uli Hauschild

The application of computer technology and advanced 3-D imaging as applied to implant dentistry with the utilization of multiple interactive software applications, makes it possible to create advanced designs that are multilayered, simultaneous, and precise, enabling true resource optimization.

The design and production of complex treatment plans are carried out using a state-of-the-art digital workflow, which does not only dentistry allow to profit. While traditional implantology only focuses on the reconstruction of a set of teeth, the principal of digital dentistry allows to take a look at the big picture.

The digital work flow is of interest for especially complex cases and the data-export procedure allows for simulation of optimal abutment positioning. The CBCT image data is used accurately position the implants within the desired envelope of the diagnostic wax-up allowing for the restorative data to be exported for CAD design and fabrication of the temporary restoration before the treatment on the actual patient has even begun. The analog / manual working steps in the laboratory is replaced by the digital workflow as made possible through advanced computer-aided processes.

Resource optimization using digital workflow has great advantages for both patients and the entire dental implant treatment teams. When it is possible to deliver an immediate-load restoration supported by sufficient dental implants, our patients can continue their lives with less psychological burden, and implant teams benefit from predictable operating procedures and efficiency. The craftsmanship of a competent dental technical specialist and the skill of a good dental surgeon when combined with 3-D pre-surgical planning can reduce operator and patient stress to a minimum, reduce patient morbidity, reduce surgical time, even when the operation must be relatively invasive.