What is Guided Dental Implant Placement
Guided dental implant placement has become popular in recent years for its more accurate level of positioning. Our dentists use several technologies to determine the most precise spot to add an oral implant. How does this process work?
Guided Implant Placement Technology
Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), virtual treatment planning and computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) help dentists perform this procedure.
Using specialized software, CBCT provides three-dimensional, virtual information about how much jawbone is available to support the implants and where the restoration can be placed in relation to bones, nerves and sinuses. Results from the CBCT scan are shared with the surgeon, dentist and laboratory to reduce the number of potential revisions and ensure the final crowns fit the mouth.
Once the virtual guide is accepted by all parties, CAD/CAM is utilized to create a physical guide model via a 3D printer that aids in the positioning of the implants. During this procedure, the surgical guide is placed in the mouth to assist the dentist in properly placing the implants.
How Guided Implant Placement Works
As you undergo this procedure, the dentist creates a 3D image of the patient’s skull, particularly the jaw, using CBCT. This is used to perform virtual, simulated dental surgery on a computer to determine the ideal positions for all implants. The scan itself is painless, non-invasive and over in seconds. The patient simply has to bite down on a mouthpiece as the CBCT scanner moves around the jaw area. The dentist will then show the virtual model to the patient.
Next, the dentist transfers the virtual information to a lab, which will create the physical guide. This guide will indicate the number and size of implants required, as well as where they will be placed.
If the CBCT scan indicates a high degree of bone volume loss, the dentist will work on bone grafting or a similar augmentation procedure prior to implant placement.
With the surgical guide in the patient’s mouth, the dentist is able to complete flapless implant surgery by drilling through the guide to accurately position all implants.
Benefits of Guided Dental Implant Positioning
In terms of accuracy during the procedure and the long-term success of dental implants, guided dental implant placement:
- Delivers a cleaner look and improved bite functionality.
- Allows patients to have a better idea of the end result.
- Prevents dentists from estimating implant placement and requires less prep beforehand.
- Results in a better-fitting dental restoration that will feel similar to the patient’s natural teeth.
- Has a higher long-term success rate, due to the combined technologies’ level of detail and ability to anticipate potential complications.
- Eliminates the drawn-out process and involves fewer and smaller incisions – both of which typically lead to longer downtime following traditional implants. As such, patients recover in less time and are likely to experience fewer complications.
- Allows more patients to receive implant restorations.
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