Information for the Dentist

From Scan to Plan to Guide

With the advent of free software such as Blue Sky Plan it is now possible to design your own surgical drill guides and manufacture them using a 3D printer. In principle, you can do all the steps yourself. In practice however, you may find it more convenient and a better use of your time to let IDT Scans do some of the processes for you.

Requesting a CT or CBCT scan

The first step in the process is to obtain a CT or CBCT scan of your patient. If you do not have your own CBCT scanner, we can direct you to a suitable Imaging Centre. Please enter a Town or Postcode and our search engine will locate an Imaging Centre conveniently close to you.

Preparing your patient for the scan

Not all dental CT or CBCT scans are performed with the intention of ordering a surgical drill guide. However, if you think there is any possibility that a guide might be required, please consider the following points before requesting the CT or CBCT scan:

If you would like to discuss which type of guide is most suitable for your patient, please contact us before the CT or CBCT scan takes place.

Planning the implant locations

After the scan takes place, you will need to plan the implant locations using Simplant, InVivo Dental, Blue Sky Plan, or other suitable software. IDT Scans can assist you with this through our Implant Simulation service.

If you intend to order a surgical drill guide, please take the following factors into account:

If you planned the implants using Simplant, IDT Scans can convert your planning file to Blue Sky Plan format, so that you can design your own surgical drill guide.

Designing the surgical drill guide

Once you are satisfied with the implant locations, you can design the surgical drill guide using Blue Sky Plan software. Once you are satisfied with the design, you can export the STL file to be printed on a 3D printer. Blue Sky Bio charges a small fee (typically around $20) for every STL file that is exported.

Please keep the following factors in mind when designing a surgical drill guide:

IDT Scans can assist you with the above steps (or we can do the whole process for you). Please contact us to discuss your requirements further.

Manufacturing the surgical drill guide

In principle, you can print the surgical drill guide on any good quality 3D printer. In practice, there are a number of factors to be taken into account:

IDT Scans recommends getting the guide manufactured by a registered Dental Laboratory as they can select the correct materials in compliance with the regulations.