Interventional CT scanner for dental implants comes to U.S.

Feb. 18, 2009
Dr. Michel Matouk devises a new protocol to improve precision by obtaining CT scans during surgical procedures.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida--When Peter S. was told that his front tooth needed extraction, he hoped he could find a way to get immediate implant replacement under general anesthesia.

"When Dr. (Michel) Matouk discussed the possibility of CT scanning during the procedure to improve precision, I knew this would give the best result," said Peter.

The scan revealed an adequate bony volume for implant placement at the exact site needed after the extraction, while he was still sedated. The implant was then placed uneventfully.

Dr. Matouk, a dental implant and maxillofacial surgeon, has been working on precision surgical navigation for years. His efforts culminated in the development of computer-aided implantation using intra-operative CT scans.

This new technology is currently limited to a few major neurosurgical academic centers and has not been applied to any dental surgery offices in the U.S. It provides real-time tracking of surgical results.

The technology uses a Cone Beam CT, an alternative to conventional CT, which provides three-dimensional radiographic imaging, on-site, while reducing radiation 90% compared to hospital-based computer-assisted tomography.

High-end dental implant centers are starting to offer CBCT to improve planning before the placing of dental implants; however, surgery is a fluid process and sometimes plans have to be modified. At this point, the surgeon is working "blindly."

The final result can then only be evaluated after the case is finished. One to two millimeters can mean the difference between success and failure in cosmetic dental implant surgery.

It is for these complex situations that Dr. Matouk, a dually licensed physician and dentist, saw the need for interventional CBCT. He researched the different CBCT systems available and chose the one with the most field of vision and least radiation, and then proceeded to modify it to allow for intra-operative interventional use.

As soon as he used it, he realized the new doors that this technology opens. While surgical procedures have not changed, now the accuracy of the final result can be confirmed prior to the end of the case.

When modifications need to be made, that can be done during the same surgical procedure, rather than having the patient return for a second round of scans followed by another surgery.

For more information, go to Implant and Facial Surgery.

To read more about Cone Beam CT, go to portrait and practice.

To comment on this topic, go to PennWell Dental Community site.