Purpose: New digital technologies enable real-time computer-aided (CA) three-dimensional (3D) guidance during dental implant surgery. The aim of this investigational clinical trial was to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of a prototype optoelectronic CA-navigation device in comparison with the conventional approach for planning and effecting dental implant surgery.
Materials and methods: Study participants with up to four missing teeth were recruited from the pool of patients referred to the University of Toronto Graduate Prosthodontics clinic. The first 10 participants were allocated to either a conventional or a prototype device study arm in a randomized trial. The next 10 participants received implants using the prototype device. All study participants were restored with fixed dental prostheses after 3 (mandible) or 6 (maxilla) months healing, and monitored over 12 months. The primary outcome was the incidence of any surgical, biologic, or prosthetic adverse events or device-related complications. Secondary outcomes were the incidence of positioning of implants not considered suitable for straightforward prosthetic restoration (yes/no); the perception of the ease of use of the prototype device by the two oral surgeons, recorded by use of a Likert-type questionnaire; and the clinical performance of the implant and superstructure after 1 year in function. Positioning of the implants was appraised on periapical radiographs and clinical photographs by four independent blinded examiners. Peri-implant bone loss was measured on periapical radiographs by a blinded examiner.
Results: No adverse events occurred related to placing any implants. Four device-related complications led to a switch from using the prototype device to the conventional method. All implants placed by use of the prototype device were in a position considered suitable for straightforward prosthetic restoration (n = 21). The qualitative evaluation by the surgeons was generally positive, although ergonomic challenges were identified. All study participants were present for the 1-year examination (n = 20 patients, 41 implants, 32 superstructures), and no complications or failures with any implants or superstructures were revealed. The peri-implant bone loss was less than 1 mm for all implants.
Conclusion: Within the limitations of this trial, the prototype device provided placement of dental implants without adverse events.