Introduction

Thorough preoperative planning of complex surgery is a prerequisite for a successful treatment outcome. Presurgical planning of hard tissue is based mainly upon conventional CT images or MRI images of the patient.

Two different approaches can be defined to efficient 3D presurgical planning of hard-tissue surgery. A first approach is planning on a physical model of the bones. Physical models are based upon CT information and produced by means of rapid prototyping techniques. Surgical actions can be rehearsed on the physical models. In the case of interventions requiring custom implants, implants can be designed on the physical model. An alternative for this approach is working directly on the computer model.

Both approaches require preparatory handling of the CT and/or MRI images by specialized medical imaging software which will be discussed in detail in this chapter.

Dental implantology is one field where preoperative planning is extremely important because of anatomical as well as aesthetic considerations. As an example, this chapter will also elaborate on a dental planning software and existing links to transfer the virtual planning to real surgery.

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