Technical developments strongly influence modern medicine. This is especially obvious in imaging technology. Today, one of the most difficult tasks for surgeons is transferring all the available imaging information for their patients into one "complete picture". In the operation theatre, this picture then has to be applied to the patient. Computer-assisted surgery (CAS) promises to help in fulfilling this task and, thereby, to fully utilize the possibilities offered by modern imaging techniques. Today's standard procedures for CAS in the maxillofacial region are described in technical principles and clinical applications. They are evaluated and discussed based on the available literature and in light of practical experience of more than ten years in the field of CAS. In addition, an outlook is given into developments of the near future that have appeared in the current literature. While technical development is leading toward a complete integration of all processes surrounding the patient and his or her surgery, basic CAS has moved from research to clinical care. Before it is routinely used, more investigation about its effectiveness and benefits has to be done, especially since increasing medical care costs are an issue in all countries.