Three-dimensional facial scanning technology: applications and future trends

B. Hassan, B. Giménez Gonzáles, A. Tahmaseb, R. Jacobs, M.M. Bornstein

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleProfessional


Basic components of the conventional prosthodontic diagnostic set-up workflow include dental cast models, full-mouth two-dimensional digital photographs, as well as selected intra- and extra-oral radiographs. This set-up provides a limited two-dimen-sional representation of the maxillofacial region and fails to depict the patient in full three dimensions, thereby limiting diagnosis and treatment planning. Novel three-dimensional (3D) imaging technologies such as digital intra-oral scanning and cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) are becoming increasingly available in the dental office. However, these technologies are limited in capturing the dentition and alveolar bone due to little regard to the soft tissue profile. Facial scanning is a rapidly evolving technol-ogy with a wide range of applications in the fields of biomedical engineering, industrial design and 3D animations. In dental medicine, the technology has its roots in orthodontics and orthognathic surgery and provides the basis for comprehensive 3D mapping of the face for treatment planning and follow-up purposes. Recently, there has been increasing interest in applying facial scanning technology in prosthodontics and implant dentistry. The aim of this review is to shed some light on the evolution of facial scanning technology and to demonstrate the scanning principles, while providing some perspective on potential applications in prosthetic dentistry. An attempt is also made to discuss the accuracy and limitations of this novel technology, and to examine future trends.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-86
JournalForum Implantologicum
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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