# METHOD FOR OBTAINING A POSITION MATCH OF 3D DATA SETS IN A DENTAL CAD/CAM SYSTEM

A method for designing tooth surfaces of a digital dental prosthetic item using a first 3D model of a preparation site and/or of a dental prosthetic item and a second 3D model. The second model comprises regions matching some regions on the first 3D model and regions differing from other regions of the first 3D model. The non-matching regions contain surface information. At least three pairs of corresponding points are selected on the matching region on the first 3D model and second 3D model. The positional correlation of the second 3D model with reference to the first 3D model is determined based on the at least three pairs, and portions of the non-matching regions of the first and second 3D models are implemented for designing the tooth surface prosthetic item taking into consideration the based on the positional correlation of these models relative to each other.

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**Description**

**BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION**

This application is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 12/839,804, filed Jul. 20, 2010, which is a division of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/368,535, filed Mar. 7, 2006, which claimed the priority of German Application No. 10 2005 011 066.5, filed Mar. 8, 2005, and is related to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/749,612, filed Dec. 13, 2005, the priority of which is hereby claimed. The contents of U.S. application Ser. Nos. 12/839,804 and 11/368,535 are hereby incorporated by reference herein in their entireties, as if set forth fully herein.

**FIELD OF THE INVENTION**

This invention relates to part of a process for the manufacture of dental prosthetic items in a dental CAD system. In the dental CAD/CAM system “CEREC” (registered trademark of Sirona Dental Systems GmbH, Germany), the operator performs a 3D scan of a prepared tooth and its adjacent teeth, from which scan a data representation of the 3D model of the region scanned is produced in the memory unit of a computer and displayed.

**DESCRIPTION OF RELATED ART**

In order to copy, say, the chewing surface of a tooth prior to preparation, the tooth can be scanned prior to preparation, together with the adjacent teeth, and a corresponding 3D model can then be computed.

Another variant comprises the scanning of an impression of the opposite jaw, in order to achieve an optimum fit of the dental prosthetic item on said opposite jaw.

In order to be able to use the information of the unprepared tooth or the impression of the opposite jaw, it is necessary to achieve a sufficiently exact geometric alignment of the corresponding models to the model of the prepared tooth. The information that makes such alignment possible must therefore be contained in the models.

The use of the surface of the adjacent teeth, with no change in the surface between the scans, is known in the prior art. This normally takes place automatically via the software, by means of which regions of the 3D data set corresponding to each other are sought and found.

There are cases in which this automatic process fails, due, for example, to the poor quality of the scans, too few unaltered parts of the 3D models, or interfering image components such as cofferdams or rolls of cellulose wadding.

Despite this, and in order to be able to use this information either from the scans prior to preparation or from the opposite jaw, the position match of the models must be obtained in a different way.

**OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION**

The invention relates to a method for designing dental surfaces for a digital dental prosthetic item existing as a 3D data set by means of a first 3D model of a preparation site and/or of a yet to be milled dental prosthetic item and a second 3D model, which second model includes regions which match some regions on the first 3D model and regions which differ from other regions of said first 3D model.

The non-matching regions contain some of the surface information required for the dental prosthetic item.

At least three pairs of points corresponding to each other are selected on the matching region on the first 3D model A and the second 3D model A′, and the positional correlation of said second 3D model (A′) relative to said first 3D model (A) is determined with reference to the at least three pairs of points.

The portions of the non-matching regions of the first 3D model (A) and of the second 3D model (A′) are implemented for designing the tooth surface of the dental prosthetic item taking into consideration the positional correlation of these 3D models relative to each other.

The 3D model (A) can, for example, comprise a digital representation of a prepared tooth with its adjacent teeth and the 3D model (A′) a digital representation in approximately the same preparation site of an impression of the opposite jaw. The matching regions would then comprise at least portions of the occlusal surfaces of the adjacent teeth of the first 3D model (A) and the opposite occlusal surfaces of the opposing teeth in the opposite jaw of the second 3D model (A′). The non-matching regions would then comprise at least portions of the surface of the prepared tooth in the first 3D model (A) and the occlusal surface of the opposing tooth in the second 3D model (A′) and could be implemented for designing the tooth surface of the dental prosthetic item for the prepared tooth.

The alignment of points and regions on the second 3D model (A′) and the first 3D model (A) by way of the positional correlation is known in the prior art.

The alignment of the points is achieved by intervention by the operator.

In order to achieve unambiguous determination of the positional correlation of the first 3D model (A) relative to the second 3D model (A′), at least three pairs of points in the matching regions must be selected by the operator, and these three pairs of points may not be in line.

Furthermore, the invention relates to a method for designing dental surfaces of a digital dental prosthetic item existing as a 3D data set by means of a first 3D model (A) of a preparation site and/or a dental prosthetic item yet to be milled and a second 3D model (A′), which second model (A′) has regions matching some regions of the first 3D model (A) and regions which do not match other regions of the first 3D model (A), which non-matching regions contain some of the surface information required for the dental prosthetic item. A plurality of points forming a region of the surface is selected from the matching region on the first 3D model (A) and the second 3D model (A′), and the positional correlation of said second 3D model (A′) relative to the first 3D model (A) is determined with reference to the plurality of points in said region. The portions of the non-matching regions of the first 3D model (A) and of the second 3D model (A′) are used for designing the tooth surface of the dental prosthetic item taking into consideration the positional correlation of these 3D models relative to each other.

Advantageously, a plurality of regions having a plurality of points can be determined.

In a development of the invention, the sum of the distances between the established points on the first 3D model (A) and the established points on the second 3D model (A′) or between the points in the matching regions is minimized for the determination of the positional correlation.

When the points are selected by the operator small deviations from the actually matching points may occur. The sum of the distances of the selected pairs of points is minimized in order to keep this error down. Assuming that the error occurring when the points are selected by the operator is approximately constant, the actual positional correlation will be determine more accurately as the number of selected pairs of points is increased.

Furthermore, the invention embraces a method for designing dental surfaces of a digital dental prosthetic item existing as a 3D data set by means of a first 3D model of a preparation site and/or of a dental prosthetic item yet to be milled and a second 3D model, which second model has regions matching some regions on the first 3D model and other regions which do not match other regions on the first 3D model. The non-matching regions contain some of the surface information required for the dental prosthetic item. A pair of points corresponding to each other is selected on the matching region on said first 3D model and said second 3D model, and the second 3D model is moved in the display so as to coincide with the first 3D model at this point. The second 3D model (A′) can then be adjusted, via input means, relatively to the first 3D model (A) about the at least one point, and a positional correlation is determined with reference to an adjusted position. The portions of the non-matching regions of the first and second 3D models are then implemented for designing the tooth surface of the dental prosthetic item taking into consideration the positional correlation of said 3D models relative to one another.

The selection of the point and the adjustment are performed by the operator.

The second 3D model is then manipulated around the selected coincidence point until the first 3D model matches the second 3D model at as many points as possible. The total adjustment can then be implemented to determine the positional correlation.

According to the invention, a first transformation is performed with reference to the established positional correlation.

It is possible to ascertain the first transformation from the positional correlation, and when the first transformation has been carried out, the second 3D model can be moved to coincide with the first 3D model.

In a particularly advantageous development, those regions which, after execution of the first transformation, show a smaller difference in height than a specified maximum value between the first 3D model and the second 3D model are used as the basis for finding an additional positional correlation.

That is to say, those regions which show a greater difference in height than the maximum value are not implemented for determination of an additional positional correlation. In this way, pairs of points inaccurately selected by the operator are screened out.

A second transformation is advantageously performed with reference to said additional positional correlation.

After execution of the first transformation, a second transformation is thus carried out in order to make the second 3D model coincide with the first 3D model even more accurately.

**BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS**

Exemplary embodiments of the invention are illustrated in the drawings, in which:

**1** and a second coordinate system K**2**;

*a *illustrates another method for obtaining a positional correlation by means of a first step;

*b *illustrates the rotation of the coordinate system K**2**′ of *a; *

**DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF AN EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION**

Two 3D models A and A′ are shown in **1** with its adjacent teeth **2**, **3**. The 3D model A′ is a data representation in approximately the same preparation site, wherein, however, an impression **5** of the opposite jaw is contained in an impression compound **4** and wherein the adjacent teeth **2**′, **3**′ are predominantly covered by the impression compound **4**. Parts of the impression **5** should be taken into account when designing a dental prosthetic item (such as, e.g., item **6** of **5**. Up to this point, the two 3D models A, A′ do not yet have any spatial relationship to each other. By comparing distinctive surface points or regions, one can see with the naked eye that there are surface points or regions on the surface that correspond to each other in the two models. In particular, the surfaces are edges or crests.

Both of the 3D models A, A′ are represented at the same degree of magnification and hence match in terms of their displayed dimensions. In principle, representation of the models on a different scale is also possible, because the regions represented are always based on absolute data.

The operator can therefore define points P**11**-P**32** or regions B**11**-B**32** of adjacent points, which points or regions reproduce the same object parts in the two 3D models A, A′, in this case parts of the adjacent teeth **2**, **2**′; **3**, **3**′.

By marking point pairs P**11**, P**12**; P**21**, P**22**; P**31**, P**32**, wherein in each case one point P**11**, P**21**, P**31** of a pair lies on the 3D model A and the other point P**12**, P**22**, P**32** of the pair lies on the 3D model A′, a clear positional correlation can be obtained using mathematical methods known in the prior art. This is likewise possible when the representations differ in size.

In **1** and a second coordinate system K**2** and a transformation T for giving the correlation position. Point pairs (P**11**, P**12**), (P**21**, P**22**) (P**31**, P**32**) are selected in both coordinate systems, from which point pairs the transformation T is calculated. The coordinate system K**2** may be reproduced therewith on the coordinate system K**1** according to the following mathematical formula:

*K*_{1}*=T*K*_{2 }

Another method for obtaining a positional correlation between the two coordinate systems K**1**, K**2** is illustrated in *a*. First of all, a first transformation T is calculated with reference to a point pair (P**01**, P**02**), which transformation reproduces the point P**02** over the point P**01** and contains exclusively one translation fraction.

Then a rotation of the coordinate system K**2**′ about the common point PO through the angles φ**1**, φ**2**, φ**3** of the axes x, y and z is performed by the operator, as illustrated in *b*, in order to bring about coincidence of the two coordinate systems K**1**, K**2** in the coordinate system K**1**. A transformation R is determined therefrom, which transformation contains the angle of rotation only and no translation fraction. Lastly, a positional correlation is calculated for the coordinate systems K**1**, K**2**:

*K*_{1}*=R**(*T*K*_{2})

**1**, P**2**, P**3** is determined. To this end, the transformation is sought in which the three point pairs P**1**, P**2**, P**3** are disposed relative to each other such that the spacing between the points (P**11**, P**12**′), (P**21**, P**22**′) and (P**31**, P**32**′) and the points P**12**′, P**22**′ and P**32**′ after the transformation T of the points P**12**, P**22**, and P**32** of the 3D model A′ is minimal. This is accomplished with algorithms known per se using the following formula, in which n=3 in the present case:

As a consequence of the transformation T obtained in this manner, the points P**12**, P**22** and P**32** are thus displayed over the points P**12**′, P**22**′ and P**32**′ and the transformation can also be applied to the rest of the 3D model A′ in order to obtain the positional correlation of single points or selected regions.

This applies similarly to a region generated from a plurality of points.

An optimization is illustrated in

As an example of the profile of a dental prosthetic item surface as a 3D model, a curve G**2**′ is illustrated together with a curve G**1** in the x,z plane from the first coordinate system, which curve G**2**′ was generated from a curve G**2** (not shown), from the second coordinate system after the first transformation. The profile of the curve G**2**′ comprises regions I, III, which regions are separated from the curve G**1** at intervals within a maximum value ε, whereas, by contrast, the deviation is clearly greater than the maximum value ε in the regions II and IV. Said regions II and IV are considered as defects and are omitted in the calculation of the final transformation. The positional correlation is therefore only calculated with those values of the regions I and III which lie within the maximum limit ε.

Ideally, the curves in regions I and III coincide after this additional transformation.

In order to achieve this good match, it is self-explanatory that the point pairs for the first transformation should fall within the regions I and III.

## Claims

1. A method for designing tooth surfaces of a digital dental prosthetic item existing as a 3D data set using a first 3D model of a preparation site and/or of a dental prosthetic item and a second 3D model, which second model comprises regions which match some regions on the first 3D model and regions which differ from other regions of said first 3D model, the non-matching regions containing some of the surface information required for the dental prosthetic item, comprising the steps of selecting at least three pairs (P1, P2, P3) of points (P11, P12; P21, P22; P31, P32) corresponding to each other are selected on the matching region on the first 3D model (A) and the second 3D model (A′), that the positional correlation of said second 3D model with reference to said first 3D model is determined with reference to said at least three pairs (P1, P2, P3), and that portions of the non-matching regions of said first and second 3D models are implemented for designing the tooth surface of the dental prosthetic item taking into consideration the positional correlation of these models relative to each other.

2-16. (canceled)

**Patent History**

**Publication number**: 20120106833

**Type:**Application

**Filed**: Nov 1, 2011

**Publication Date**: May 3, 2012

**Applicant**: SIRONA DENTAL SYSTEMS GMBH (Bensheim)

**Inventors**: Ulrich Orth (Heppenheim), Volker Wedler (Hirschberg)

**Application Number**: 13/286,842

**Classifications**

**Current U.S. Class**:

**3-d Or Stereo Imaging Analysis (382/154)**

**International Classification**: G06K 9/00 (20060101);