Ever-evolving Tools for More Complete Implant Planning

By Justin Moody, DDS, DICOI, DABOI

Much has been written about cone beam 3D imaging and its benefits to the placement of dental implants. The amount of data that can be gained from 3D scans has become an integral part of my diagnosing patients’ individual needs. Data and measurements for dental applications such as bone height, buccolingual dimensions, and angulation help me to define the best positioning, and scans also show detailed views of the maxillary sinus, inferior alveolar nerve, and nasal cavity, among other anatomical landmarks. While the 3D view offers this precise look at the anatomy, often the treatment planning software is the star of the show. i-CAT’s recently updated Tx STUDIO™ 5.4 software gives me more complete treatment planning.

Implant placement is made easier and more predictable when I feel like I have more control of the abutment design and contour under the planned crowns and bridges.

For virtual placement and fabrication of surgical guides, this treatment planning software has always provided the digital workflow needed to merge the patient’s 3D scan with my digital impression system, allowing me to ensure that the implant is in sound bone and is esthetically pleasing. Also, with my 3D scans and my Tx STUDIO software, surgical guides can be ordered, then fabricated to exact specifications, a process that leads to site-specific implant placement.

This new version of the software has several new patient education tools. One of my favorites is the enhanced abutment design that allows the crown to be virtually placed onto the abutment and prepped teeth, as well as simulation of pontics and bridges. Also new is the ability to parallel groups of implants and the placement of virtual pontics and bridges, allowing for more restorative control. This type of visualization allows me to communicate my treatment plan to the patient chairside. Implant placement is made easier and more predictable when I feel like I have more control of the abutment design and contour under the planned crowns and bridges. Besides being very useful for me, my patients are impressed by the technology in use in this practice, and that translates to loyal patients and more referrals.

The sinus graft feature is yet another very useful tool of this software. This feature lets me simulate a sinus bone graft in two clicks while gaining the approximate graft volume. The estimated volumetric measurements give more information for planning and fewer surprises during surgery.

Tx STUDIO doesn’t just stop at implants. For colleagues working with temporomandibular disorders or orthodontics, the updated software has enhanced comprehensive and exclusive tools for more precise analysis, quantitative information, and views of the parameters and cross-sectional areas along the airway.

Just when I think that i-CAT 3D imaging is the best implant placement tool I can get, I get a software update for treatment planning that gives me more to appreciate. This software brings the wow factor to my practice for both me and my patients. The expansion of Tx STUDIO’s implant planning capabilities builds my confidence for the successful placement and long-term survival of implants.Indications for use: www.i-cat.come/ifu

About the Author:
Dr. Justin Moody is an international speaker and is in private practice at The Dental Implant Center in Rapid City, South Dakota.