Dental Implant Planning

There are eight crucial steps in the dental implant planning process. These include 3D-imaging data, MRI, Pre-implant guided bone regeneration, Virtual models, and peri-implant guided bone regeneration. Understanding these steps will allow a dentist to plan an implant that is both successful and natural looking. To begin the process, a patient must undergo a consultation. If the patient is a candidate for dental implants, the prosthodontist will explain the steps in an eight-step implant protocol.

3D-imaging data is essential for dental implant planning

In the current study, the accuracy of dental MRI for static guided implant surgery planning was assessed. A prospective study was conducted in which two dentists made their decisions using dental MRI data and a CBCT reference scan. Both data were compared using Cohen’s kappa, an inter-rater agreement metric. The dental MRI and CBCT datasets were co-registered to determine angular and three-dimensional deviations of the implants.

The 3D-imaging data from CBCT scans can be used to fabricate a custom surgical guide. The surgical guide rests over the patient’s gums and has holes designed to allow placement of the implant only at specific angles and depths. The precision of surgical planning ensures near-perfect placement. The procedure can be more accurate and efficient if the surgeon has accurate 3D-imaging data.

Pre-implant guided bone regeneration

Several different procedures are now available for planning and placing dental implants. In some cases, a patient may be lacking sufficient bone for a stable implant placement. These deficiencies may occur as a result of developmental anomalies, trauma, or tooth extraction. Alveolar ridge resorption occurs in both the horizontal and vertical dimensions, resulting in compromised bone volume. To remedy this situation, guided tissue regeneration may be used.

In this technique, the initial implant site is prepared by stimulating bone growth from the base. The amount of bone regeneration varies with osseous defects. The regenerated area is measured using CBCT. A digital software developed by Planmeca is then used to plan the insertion of the implant. Once the bone has been adequately prepared, the surgeon can perform the surgery. Because the bone growth is guided by the CBCT scan, the patient should experience minimal discomfort.


In a prospective study, a 0.4-mm isotropic 3-T MR protocol was used to plan static guided implant surgery. The CBCT and dental MRI datasets were co-registered to assess inter-modality agreement. Two dentists made treatment decisions and used a surgical guide to position the implant intra-orally during the reference CBCT scan. The researchers assessed three-dimensional and angular deviations between the two images using Cohen’s kappa to determine the accuracy of the implants.

MRI imaging is a highly effective tool for dental implant planning. In this study, five dry mandibles were subjected to MRI and CT examinations. Each mandible had three specific sites indicated by markers. MRI and CT images were then delivered to four Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology specialists. The specialists recorded bone height in the sites determined by the study participants. The study findings show that MRI can accurately predict implant placement and can help dentists perform successful procedures.

Virtual models

Until recently, dental implant planning has been based on conventional impressions and the tooth surface. Virtual models based on MRI data provide more landmarks for the registration process, a major advantage over conventional methods. The feasibility of virtual implant planning has not been determined, however, as preclinical data are required to validate the accuracy of this technology. Virtual models have been developed in a lab scanner. Nonetheless, the use of MRI data as a guide for implant planning remains controversial.

With CT image software, dentists can virtually plan a dental implant before the surgery. The program renders a CT image of the patient’s teeth in three dimensions and highlights vital structures. Using virtual models, a surgeon can decide the position of planned restorations and proceed from there. Virtual models reduce clinical risk and improve accuracy of implant placement. The downsides of virtual planning software include limited time and cost. But the potential benefits outweigh the downsides.

DTX Studio

DTX Studio is the latest in digital dentistry and has many benefits to enhance dental care. Using this software allows dental professionals to visualize and plan for implant placement. Its cloud-based technology allows doctors to collaborate with a dental designer and outsource their implant planning. Its proprietary voxel-based algorithms provide accurate information on surfaces and underlying anatomy. In addition to dental implants, DTX Studio allows dentists to print splints, mouthguards, and dental models.

DTX Studio is comparable to Adobe Creative Suite for dentists. It combines a 3D X-ray CT scan with a surface scan of the patient’s teeth. With the software, dental professionals can plan the surgical procedure accordingly, and the software helps dentists create surgical guides for optimal implant placement. Because the software provides surgical guides, DTX Studio allows doctors to plan implantations with the end in mind.