AI and Emerging Dental Technology

Advancement of Dental Implant Technology

Advancement of Dental Implant Technology
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17 May

Advancement of Dental Implant Technology

The integration of technology into dentistry has revolutionized dental implantology with the widespread use of intra-oral and facial scanners, Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT), and digital measuring instruments. These tools aid in obtaining 3D representations of patients, an invaluable asset for both diagnosing conditions and designing treatment plans.

However, the process of converting this data into usable patient models used to be a complex and time-consuming task. Until recently, the data segmentation and alignment process was mostly manual, often leading to inaccuracies due to human error.

In a remarkable leap forward, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has birthed cloud-based software that can swiftly generate comprehensive 3D patient files from multiple sources such as intra-oral, facial and CBCT scans. These files, in a universal STL format, are seamlessly aligned and segmented, effectively eliminating potential operator-induced errors. For instance, every tooth in these files is created through the perfect fusion of CBCT (root) and intra-oral (crown) scans, demonstrating the brilliance of machine learning, a fundamental aspect of AI.

This breakthrough technology has ignited transformation across all dentistry sectors. For instance, it now allows for the 3D planning of orthodontic procedures that ensures bone safety and aids in planning for intricate prosthetic cases. In the field of dental implantology, AI-enabled tools like Virtual Patient Creator (Relu) augment our diagnostic and planning capabilities.

Moreover, the advent of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) systems in conjunction with 3D STL files processed by Virtual Patient Creator presents new opportunities. With the aid of AR and AR devices, dentists can now view 3D patient models holographically. This significantly enhances the process of diagnosis, collaboration with dental laboratories, and patient communication by facilitating a clear illustration of the proposed treatment plan.

AI and AR technologies have also redefined the process of dental implant planning. With a set of files processed by AI, a surgeon wearing AR glasses can accurately plan the position, inclination, and depth of one or multiple implants using holograms. The AR application enables the surgeon to access a 3D implant library, select the desired fixture, and place it within the holographic bone model. Surgeons can even adjust the size of the holographic models to match their own, facilitating a more realistic, interactive planning process. Furthermore, the surgeon can navigate within these models to manipulate the position of the implant, guided by additional holographic overlays such as teeth and soft tissue representations.

This transformative approach to 3D planning removes the need for conventional guided implant surgery software or traditional 2D radiographic sections, resulting in an intuitive, cost-effective, and enjoyable planning experience. The spatial positioning of the planned implant can be saved, exported, and combined with other files for the creation of a surgical guide using open-source software. The next frontier in this field is importing these plans into a dynamic implant navigation system, heralding a new era in dental implantology.