3-D graphics and animation making ortho treatments better

June 14, 2001
The world of orthodontics is getting a virtual facelift.

The world of orthodontics is getting a "virtual" facelift. Dr. Orhan C. Tuncay, professor and chairman of the department of orthodontics and division of pediatric dentistry of Temple University School of Dentistry in Philadelphia, has developed a technique and procedure using 3-D graphics and animation to plan a patient's treatment.

A problem plaguing the orthodontic world for years is the fact that treatment affects three dimensions, yet the most popular tool for diagnosis, X-ray, photography, etc., is only two-dimensional.

"There was a real need for precise and accurate malocclusion animation," Dr. Tuncay said. "And that's what we have developed � the first-ever animation of the human face using 3-D laser-generated images. It's the only such system in the world."

Dr. Tuncay's procedure, now called 3-D CIMAS (Three-Dimensional Craniofacial Imaging and Motion Animation System) allows both the patient and clinician to see exactly the proposed orthodontic treatment and the outcome of that treatment before work is ever begun.

Dr. Tuncay's 3-D CIMAS uses a Minolta Corporation VIVID 3-D Non-Contact Digitizer. Using intrinsically safe Class 1 (eye safe at any distance) laser-light stripe triangulation, the VIVID 700 digitizer scans a face in just 0.6 seconds, capturing both 3-D surface geometry and color texture data for input into a PC or laptop computer. The procedure uses Minolta scanning/registration and texture mapping software included with the VIVID digitizer.