A novel method for soft tissue retraction during periapical surgery using 3D technology: A case report

Shanon Patel*, A. Aldowaisan, A. Dawood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: This case report describes a new approach to isolation and soft tissue retraction during endodontic surgery using cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT), computer-aided design (CAD) and three-dimensional (3D) printing. Summary: A 53-year-old patient presented for endodontic treatment of her maxillary left central incisor. It was decided to treat this tooth with a microsurgical approach. The data from the diagnostic CBCT scan were also used to make a physical model of the operative site, and CAD software was used to design a soft tissue retractor to be used during the patient's surgery. A custom retractor was then fabricated using a 3D printer. The custom-made retractor enhanced visualization and soft tissue handling during the patient's surgery. The patient was asymptomatic at a 1-year review. No abnormalities were detected during her clinical examination, and radiographic examination revealed complete healing of the surgical site. Key learning points: The significance of proper soft tissue retraction in periapical microsurgery is underemphasized. Geometric data from CBCT scans may be harvested for a variety of uses, adding value to the examination. 3D printing is a promising technology that may potentially have many uses in endodontic surgery.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Endodontic Journal
Early online date12 Oct 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Oct 2016


  • 3D printing
  • Apical periodontitis
  • Cone-beam computed tomography
  • Endodontic microsurgery


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