Augmented reality for dental implantology: A pilot clinical report of two cases

Publication Type:
Journal Article
BMC Oral Health, 2019, 19 (1)
Issue Date:
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© 2019 The Author(s). Background: Despite the limited number of articles dedicated to its use, augmented reality (AR) is an emerging technology that has shown to have increasing applications in multiple different medical sectors. These include, but are not limited to, the Maxillo-facial and Dentistry disciplines of medicine. In these medical specialties, the focus of AR technology is to achieve a more visible surgical field during an operation. Currently, this goal is brought about by an accurate display of either static or dynamic diagnostic images via the use of a visor or specific glasses. The objective of this study is to evaluate the feasibility of using a virtual display for dynamic navigation via AR. The secondary outcome is to evaluate if the use of this technology could affect the accuracy of dynamic navigation. Case presentation: Two patients, both needing implant rehabilitation in the upper premolar area, were treated with flapless surgery. Prior to the procedure itself, the position of the implant was virtually planned and placed for each of the patients using their previous scans. This placement preparation contributed to a dynamic navigation system that was displayed on AR glasses. This, in turn, allowed for the use of a computer-aided/image-guided procedure to occur. Dedicated software for surface superimposition was then used to match the planned position of the implant and the real one obtained from the postoperative scan. Accuracies, using this procedure were evaluated by way of measuring the deviation between real and planned positions of the implants. For both surgeries it was possible to proceed using the AR technology as planned. The deviations for the first implant were 0.53 mm at the entry point and 0.50 mm at the apical point and for the second implant were 0.46 mm at the entry point and 0.48 mm at the apical point. The angular deviations were respectively 3.05° and 2.19°. Conclusions: From the results of this pilot study, it seems that AR can be useful in dental implantology for displaying dynamic navigation systems. While this technology did not seem to noticeably affect the accuracy of the procedure, specific software applications should further optimize the results.
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