3D printed models let you fabricate surgical guides for dental implants in-office


Dr. Hiroshi Takagi

Dr. Hiroshi Takagi

Hiroshi Takagi is an Ontario dentist who uses Rapid-Fab’s 3D printing service to quickly and very economically create surgical guides for dental implants. With an inner diameter that’s a mere 0.1 mm greater than the drill bit, these custom fabricated drill guides control the precise depth and location of the hole. “With this guide, placing implants is very predictable,” says Dr. Takagi.

If you’re a Canadian dentist, and you’re not already using this new technique, here’s a quick rundown to show you what all the buzz is about.

6 easy steps to create your own dental implant surgical guide using 3D printing

By using 3D printing to create a model of your patient’s teeth, complete with a post representing the path of the drill, you can easily fabricate your own surgical guide in your office.

  1. Import a CT scan and an optical scan of your patient’s teeth into Blue Sky Plan – free treatment planning software available from Blue Sky Bio.
  2. Carefully position the “virtual” tooth into the computer model, and the software adds the implant.
  3. Select the appropriate guide tube and depth. Blue Sky Plan automatically positions the post on the model and exports a 3D computer file.
  4. Upload this file to Rapid-Fab, and we print (fabricate) an accurate model, which you’ll have back in your office within a few days. (We use a 3D Systems Projet HD 3000 series printer to create your model using Visijet EX200 Crystal material.)
  5. When you upload the file, order the appropriate metal guide tube from Blue Sky Bio, which provides an assortment suited to every possible situation and depth. Or you can have us print the guide tube for you in the same material as the model. Dr. Takagi designs his guide tubes in Autodesk3D software and uploads this file to Rapid-Fab.
  6. Use the model – complete with post – and guide tube to create the surgical guide. Position the tube correctly on the post and apply Primosplint, a thermoplastic, or another material which will form to the model of the patient’s teeth and embed the tube into the guide.

You’re done. You’ve created an accurate surgical guide in your own office – quickly and inexpensively.

“I’m probably one of the few dentists to do all these processes in-house at this point,” says Dr. Takagi. “But I’m sure this is the way to go. The quality of your model is exactly what we need and at a very reasonable cost.”

If you’re interested in this quick and economical way to create your own surgical guides for dental implants, please contact us today at 1-855-560-5673 or by email (sales@rapid-fab.com).

A detailed video showing the Blue Sky process

This includes actual case studies as well.