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Volume 30 , Issue 2
March/April 2015

Pages 330–337


Systematic Literature Review of Digital Three-Dimensional Superimposition Techniques to Create Virtual Dental Patients

Tim Joda, Dr Med Dent, DMD, MSc/Urs Brägger, Prof Dr Med Dent, DMD/German Gallucci, Dr Med Dent, DMD, PhD


PMID: 25830393
DOI: 10.11607/jomi.3852

Purpose: Digital developments have led to the opportunity to compose simulated patient models based on three-dimensional (3D) skeletal, facial, and dental imaging. The aim of this systematic review is to provide an update on the current knowledge, to report on the technical progress in the field of 3D virtual patient science, and to identify further research needs to accomplish clinical translation. Materials and Methods: Searches were performed electronically (MEDLINE and OVID) and manually up to March 2014 for studies of 3D fusion imaging to create a virtual dental patient. Inclusion criteria were limited to human studies reporting on the technical protocol for superimposition of at least two different 3D data sets and medical field of interest. Results: Of the 403 titles originally retrieved, 51 abstracts and, subsequently, 21 full texts were selected for review. Of the 21 full texts, 18 studies were included in the systematic review. Most of the investigations were designed as feasibility studies. Three different types of 3D data were identified for simulation: facial skeleton, extraoral soft tissue, and dentition. A total of 112 patients were investigated in the development of 3D virtual models. Conclusion: Superimposition of data on the facial skeleton, soft tissue, and/or dentition is a feasible technique to create a virtual patient under static conditions. Three-dimensional image fusion is of interest and importance in all fields of dental medicine. Future research should focus on the real-time replication of a human head, including dynamic movements, capturing data in a single step.


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