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Splints, Guides, 3D models

Splints

Splints are external mechanical devices applied to protect healing structures, maintain or improve joint range of motion (ROM), substitutefor or enhance impaired function, or serve as thebasis for attachment of self-help devices.The operative goals for any maxillofacial fracture repairinclude theapplication of stable fixation techniques that are minimally invasive and restore occlusion, providing for return to function as soon as possible.

Regardless of their shapes, mechanically speaking, splints operate in one of two basic ways. Most splints applied in clinics use a series of three-point pressures to control or affect joint motion, whereas the other type of splints is called coaptation splints. In dentistry, splints can be used to treat TMJ disorders, occlusal imbalances, bruxism, periodontal ligament proprioception and for use in orthognathic surgery.

There are four types of splints used in dentistry

  • Permissive
  • Non-permissive
  • Hydrostatic
  • Silicone

Guides

The use of medical imaging and software planning has led to considerable improvement in treatment planning, where surgical guides now play an important role in transferring the pre-mapped plan to placing the implants at their designated positions (angulation and depth). Use of surgical guidesis not limited to placing implants in critical anatomical situations, but also for placing implants routinely at ideal positions in the bone, in turn increasing the aesthetic and functional advantages of prosthodontic-driven implants. Surgical guides help in guiding osteotomy drills and implant fixtures at the correct position, angulation and depths, and also help in indicating the amount of bone reduction or bone harvesting.

Advantages of Surgical Guides

  • Decreases manual errors
  • Minimally invasive procedure, leading to reduced postoperative complications
  • Increased accuracy and precision of implant placement
  • The slightest error in implant placement can lead to severe complications. Surgical guides help prevent that and add to the overall safety of the procedure

3D Models

The 3D modelling technology, also known as additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping or solid-freeform technology, is a recent technological breakthrough which has equipped dentists and surgeons to effectively reproduce or improve preoperative form and function, along with helping them achieve minimal operative and postoperative complications. It has the ability to create complex constructs with high accuracy and precision.

Benefits of 3D Modelling

  • Increased precision
  • Reduced surgical time
  • Provides realistic simulations of surgical procedures
  • Anatomic models are simple, rapid and inexpensive

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