Background: To compare the accuracy of implant placement using the conventional freehand method and a dynamic navigation system; to assess the role of the surgeon's experience in implant placement using these two methods.
Material and methods: A randomized in-vitro study was conducted. Six resin mandible models and 36 implants were used. Two researchers with differing clinical experience (novice and experienced) placed implants using either the Navident dynamic navigation system (navigation group) or the conventional freehand method (freehand group). Accuracy was measured by overlaying the real position in the postoperative CBCT on the virtual presurgical placement of the implant in a CBCT image. Descriptive and bivariate analyses of the data were performed.
Results: The navigation group showed significantly higher accuracy for all the variables studied except 3D entry and depth deviation. This system significantly enhanced the accuracy of the novice professional in several outcome variables in comparison with the freehand implant placement method. However, when the implants were placed by the experienced clinician the dynamic navigation system only improved angulation deviation. Significant differences were found between the 2 professionals when the freehand method was employed. Similar deviations were observed for the implants placed with the navigation system.
Conclusions: Dynamic computer assisted surgery systems allow more accurate implant placement in comparison with the conventional freehand method, regardless of the surgeon's experience. However, this system seems to offer more advantages to novice professionals, since it allows them to reduce their deviations significantly and achieve similar results to those of experienced clinicians.