A fully digital approach to replicate peri-implant soft tissue contours and emergence profile in the esthetic zone

Clin Oral Implants Res. 2016 Dec;27(12):1511-1514. doi: 10.1111/clr.12599. Epub 2015 Apr 22.


Objective: This short communication reports on a novel digital technique designated - the "Fully Digital Technique (FDT)" - to take the impression of the peri-implant soft tissue and emergence profile with an intraoral scanner, digitally capturing both the three dimensional position of the implant platform and the coronal and gingival parts of the provisional retained restoration.

Materials and methods: A first intraoral digital impression, which generated a standard triangulation language file (STL1), was taken using a standardized implant scanbody to detect the position of the implant. A second digital impression (STL2) with the provisional retained restoration in situ was performed in two steps: the first part of the scan captured all details of the vestibular and palatal sides of the provisional retained restoration and the adjacent teeth. The provisional retained restoration was then unscrewed, and the subgingival part of the restoration was scanned directly out of the mouth to determine its subgingival shape. STL1 and STL2 were imported into imaging software and superimposed using the "best fit" algorithm to achieve a new merged file (STL3) with the 3D implant position, the peri-implant mucosa, and emergence profile. The merged file was used to design the CAD/CAM customized abutment and to realize a stereolithographic model by 3D printing.

Results: The STL superimposition of digital impressions of the implant position and the provisional retained restoration constitute a novel technique to obtain a single STL file with the implant position and its peri-implant mucosal architecture.

Conclusions: FDT is a rapid digital approach for achieving all information of the peri-implant soft tissue and emergence profile directly from the provisional retained restoration.

Keywords: dental implant; digital impression; emergence profile; intraoral scanner; peri-implant tissue; scanbody.

MeSH terms

  • Computer-Aided Design*
  • Dental Implants, Single-Tooth*
  • Dental Impression Technique*
  • Esthetics, Dental*
  • Humans
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional