The virtual patient in dental medicine


  • Tim Joda,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Fixed Prosthodontics, School of Dental Medicine, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
    • Corresponding author:

      Dr. Tim Joda, DMD, MSc

      Division of Fixed Prosthodontics

      School of Dental Medicine

      University of Bern

      Freiburgstr. 7

      3010 Bern, Switzerland

      Tel.: +41 31 632 0910

      Fax: +41 31 632 49 31


    Search for more papers by this author
  • German O. Gallucci

    1. Department of Restorative Dentistry & BioMaterial Science, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author



The aim of this Short Communication was to present a workflow for the superimposition of intraoral scan (IOS), cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT), and extraoral face scan (EOS) creating a 3D virtual dental patient.

Material and Methods

As a proof-of-principle, full arch IOS, preoperative CBCT, and mimic EOS were taken and superimposed to a unique 3D data pool. The connecting link between the different files was to detect existing teeth as constant landmarks in all three data sets.


This novel application technique successfully demonstrated the feasibility of building a craniofacial virtual model by image fusion of IOS, CBCT, and EOS under 3D static conditions.


The presented application is the first approach that realized the fusion of intraoral and facial surfaces combined with skeletal anatomy imaging. This novel 3D superimposition technique allowed the simulation of treatment planning, the exploration of the patients′ expectations, and the implementation as an effective communication tool. The next step will be the development of a real-time 4D virtual patient in motion.