Purpose: The aim of this prospective study was to determine platform and angle accuracy for dental implants using dynamic navigation, a form of computer-assisted surgery. Three hypotheses were considered: (1) the overall accuracy for implant placement relative to the virtual plan is similar to that of static tooth-borne computerized tomography (CT)-generated guides; (2) the dynamic system is more accurate than freehand methods; and (3) there is a learning curve associated with this method.
Materials and methods: This study involved three surgeons placing implants in the mandible and maxilla of patients using a dynamic navigation system (X-Guide, X-Nav Technologies). Virtual implants were placed into planned sites using the navigation system computer. Post-implant placement cone beam CT scans were taken on all patients. For each patient, this scan was mesh overlayed with the virtual plan and used to determine platform and angular deviations to the virtual plan. The primary outcome variables were platform and angular deviations, comparing the actual placement to the virtual plan. Secondary analyses included determination of accuracy related to case experience and freehand placement of implants. Comparisons to published accuracy studies were made for implant placement using static guides.
Results: Accuracy deviations from the virtual plan were similar to those reported for static tooth-based guides using literature references as the comparison. The accuracy of dynamic navigation was superior compared to freehand implant placement. The three surgeons had similar accuracies after their learning curve was achieved. Proficiency based on case series was achieved by the 20th surgical procedure.
Conclusion: Dynamic navigation can achieve accuracy of implant placement similar to static guides and is an improvement over freehand implant placement. In addition, there was a learning curve to achieve proficiency.