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Validation of a new method for building a three-dimensional physical model of the skull and dentition

ONeil, M. and Khambay, B. and Moos, K. F. and Barbenel, J. and Walker, F. and Ayoub, A. (2012) Validation of a new method for building a three-dimensional physical model of the skull and dentition. British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 50 (1). pp. 49-54. ISSN 0266-4356

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We present a new method for replicating the skull and occlusal surface with an accurate physical model that could be used for planning orthognathic surgery. The investigation was made on 6 human skulls, and a polyvinyl splint was fabricated on the dental cast of the maxillary dentition in each case. A cone beam computed tomogram (CBCT) was taken of each skull and a three-dimensional replica produced. The distorted dentition (as a result of magnification errors and streak artefacts) was removed from the three-dimensional model and replaced by new plaster dentition that was fabricated using the polyvinyl splint and a transfer jig replication technique. To verify the accuracy of the method the human skulls and the three dimensional replica model, with the new plaster dentition in situ, were scanned using a laser scanner. The three-dimensional images produced were superimposed to identify the errors associated with the replacement of the distorted occlusal surface with the new plaster dentition. The overall mean error was 0.72 and SD was (0.26) mm. The accuracy of the method encouraged us to use it clinically in a case of pronounced facial asymmetry.