AIM: To examine the literature on novel digital imaging techniques for the assessment of outcomes in oral rehabilitation with dental implants.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: An electronic search of Medline and Embase databases including studies published prior to 28th December 2014 was performed and supplemented by a manual search. A synthesis of the publications was presented describing the use of computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasonography, optical scanning, spectrophotometry or optical coherence tomography (OCT) related to the outcome measures in implant therapy.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Most of the digital imaging techniques have not yet sufficiently been validated to be used for outcome measures in implant dentistry. In clinical research, cone beam CT (CBCT) is increasingly being used for 3D assessment of bone and soft tissue following augmentation procedures and implant placement. Currently, there are no effective methods for the reduction of artifacts around implants in CBCT. Optical scanning is being used for the 3D assessment of changes in the soft tissue contour. The combination of optical scan with pre-operative CBCT allows the determination of the implant position and its spatial relation to anatomical structures. Spectrophotometry is the method most commonly used to objectively assess the color match of reconstructions and peri-implant mucosa to natural dentition and gingiva. New optical imaging techniques may be considered possible approaches for monitoring peri-implant soft tissue health. MRI and ultrasonography appear promising non-ionizing radiation imaging modalities for the assessment of soft tissue and bone defect morphologies. Optical scanners and OCT may represent efficient clinical methods for accurate assessment of the misfit between the reconstructions and the implants.