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An efficient and accurate approach for fabricating dental implant surgical guides


The aim of this research was to develop an efficient and accurate method to fabricate a dental implant surgical guide. The surgical guide is adapted from the patient's vacuum-formed clear template with the use of a plate with three ceramic balls, a six-axis drilling machine and its fixture. The plate, with the ceramic balls used as radiographic markers, is glued to the template, and the patient bites this template during a CT scan. Then, the surgeon can plan the locations and orientations of the implants on the CT-based model in the dental planning software. The drilling information is exported directly to the computer-controlled drilling machine for subsequent drilling on the template to complete the surgical guide. This method allows the surgical guide to be made without any measurements, which reduces the fabrication time, but increases the drilling accuracy. The preliminary results show that the average location error was 0.31 ± 0.17 mm and the average orientation error was 0.53 ± 0.24° , which can be considered accurate in comparison with the results reported in the literature.