Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Imaging Assisted Minimally Invasive Implant Surgery

Technology #6686

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Oliver Daniel Kripfgans
Managed By
Janani Ramaswamy
Licensing Specialist, Medical Deviceses 734-763-9081
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending

Need for Image Assisted Minimally Invasive Implants

It is estimated that nearly 2 to 4 million dental implants will be placed in the US by 2020, which will be almost doubled from 2010. This number could significantly increase if minimally invasive surgery (MIS), such as flapless surgery, becomes a routine procedure because it can further increase patient acceptance to implant therapy by reducing surgical time, post-operational discomfort and morbidity. In recent years, ultrasonography as an imaging modality in dentistry has been extensively explored in due to several advantages that diagnostic ultrasound provides. It is a non-invasive, inexpensive, painless method and unlike X-ray, it does not cause harmful ionizing radiation. Ultrasound has a promising future as a diagnostic imaging tool in all specialties in dentistry, for both hard and soft tissue detection.

The Future of Minimally Invasive Implant Surgery

The invention under consideration utilizes ultrasound scanners that capture a series of buccal and lingual images of the jawbone. The dual sets of images are merged using the registration frame that records coordinates into dual sided compound images, which are subsequently 3-dimensionally reconstructed. Additionally, implant position can be virtually planned on the image and a surgical guide made with 3-D printing based on the planning. The surgical guide will then be used to guide implant surgery. The invention can image implant location during the surgery in order to confirm implant positioning.

Possible variations and modifications

The device may be modified ergonomically to fit oral anatomies or changed in a way that images are collected so 3-D images can be generated more easily. It may be used outside or inside of the mouth.


  • Evaluate jawbone thickness
  • Evaluate jawbone morphology
  • Plan implant positioning
  • Assist making implant surgical guide
  • Facilitate minimally invasive surgery
  • Give feedback during implant surgery


  • Non-ionizing
  • Point-of-care
  • Real-time
  • 3-dimensional
  • Less expensive
  • Bring about advantages that minimally invasive surgery can have