Guided implant surgery for one-piece ceramic implants: a digital workflow

Int J Comput Dent. 2020;23(1):73-82.


Background: Accurate implant placement in the bone is key to successful implant treatment. Once inserted, it can be difficult to correct the orientation of the implant axis, especially of a one-piece implant. Prosthetic-driven digital implant planning in combination with fully guided implant surgery can offer additional safety in such cases.

Case presentation: The patient presented with a wide, edentulous interdental space extending from sites 13 to 16, which was to be restored with three one-piece zirconia implants supporting a zirconia fixed partial denture comprizing a cantilever to the mesial aspect. Digital planning based on DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) and intraoral surface data was performed to ensure optimal positioning. Guided implant placement was executed using a contra-angle handpiece with special attachments and a compatible, sleeveless drill guide. Impressions of the implants for the final restoration were acquired using an intraoral scanner. Reflection-related errors were compensated for by using the given digital abutment geometry. The DICOM and STL datasets were superimposed and used as the basis for fabricating a monolithic zirconia restoration through a subtractive milling process. The final restoration was adhesively cemented.

Conclusions: By using a prosthetic-driven implant planning strategy, it was possible to place the one-piece ceramic implants without an available implant manufacturer's guide-based solution. This was accomplished using a contra-angle surgical handpiece with special attachments and a compatible drill guide. This approach is particularly recommended for the placement of one-piece implants, which otherwise require irreversible abutment grinding for the adjustment of the implant axis orientation after placement. To increase the precision of the digital impressions of the implants, the ideal abutment geometry was imported and superimposed onto the scan data. The results demonstrate that the proposed method can dispense with the need for gingival retraction when acquiring impressions for implants of this type in the future.

Keywords: CAD/CAM; backward planning; digital workflow; guided implant surgery; intraoral scan; ; ceramic implants.

MeSH terms

  • Ceramics
  • Computer-Aided Design
  • Dental Implants*
  • Denture, Partial, Fixed
  • Humans
  • Workflow*


  • Dental Implants