Indexed on: 27 Jun '09Published on: 27 Jun '09Published in: British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Image-guidance in maxillofacial surgery is based predominantly on computed tomographic (CT) images. Its main disadvantage is the considerable amount of radiation to which the patient is exposed, and dental metal artefacts. Recently, a new class of devices based on the concept of cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) has been introduced for maxillofacial imaging, which we have investigated. In a clinical study, the first seven patients to be operated using a navigation system based on CBCT images, were evaluated. In all cases patient to image recording was uneventful and the surgical objective was reached. The guidance given by the navigation system was helpful. CBCT is an alternative to conventional CT, gives a lower dose of radiation, and costs less. Limitations in the quality of the images and the size of the field of view may restrict its use. It is suitable for image-guided surgery using a navigation system as long as the images show enough of the relevant anatomy and pathology.