Purpose: To describe a novel, noninvasive, intraoral optical scanning–based approach for characterising the buccolingual profile of peri-implant tissues using a 3D surface defect map.
Keywords: dental implant, digital data, optical scanning, pilot study, STL file
The authors do not have any financial interests, either directly or indirectly, in the products or information mentioned in this paper.
Materials and methods: Intraoral optical scans of 20 isolated dental implants with peri-implant soft tissue dehiscence in 20 subjects were captured. The digital models were then imported into image analysis software, where an examiner (LM) performed a 3D surface defect map analysis characterising the buccolingual profile of the peri-implant tissues in respect to the adjacent teeth. Ten linear divergence points that were 0.5 mm apart in a corono-apical direction were identified at the midfacial aspect of the implants. Based on these points, the implants were grouped into three different buccolingual profiles.
Results: The method for creating the 3D surface defect map of isolated implant sites was outlined. Eight implants displayed pattern 1 (coronal profile of peri-implant tissues more lingual/palatal than their apical portion), six implants exhibited pattern 2 (opposite of pattern 1) and six sites showed pattern 3 (relatively uniform and “flat”).
Conclusions: A novel method for assessing the buccolingual profile/position of peri-implant tissues using a single intraoral digital impression was proposed. The 3D surface defect map visualises the volumetric differences in the region of interest compared to the adjacent sites, allowing for objective quantification and reporting of profile/ridge deficiencies of isolated sites.