The following article describes 2 original techniques that use CAD/CAM technology to generate a pre-surgical healing abutment or provisional restoration. Two clinical cases are described using different techniques to create a guided soft-tissue emergence profile using a pre-surgical custom healing abutment or provisional restoration and their benefits. The first case describes the use of digital libraries with pontic emergence profiles. The 3-D object (tooth) is manipulated to replicate or to establish a natural contour that will determine the shape of the soft tissue during the healing process. The second technique describes the use of segmentation and mirroring of a natural tooth to generate an exact replica and emergence profile of the patient’s dentition. These techniques constitute a very simple and efficient way of generating a pre-surgical customized healing abutment or provisional restoration that allows the clinician to guide the soft-tissue healing process and emergence profile immediately after the surgery. The techniques are developed not to be software-specific, but rather to be used with any free or paid open architecture software.
KeywordsCAD/CAM; guided surgery; 3-D printing; segmentation; digital wax-up.