Guided Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implants have gained immense popularity as replacements for one or more missing teeth for many reasons. They are strong, durable, and look identical to natural teeth. They are hypoallergenic, don’t trigger metal detectors, and are safe inside of a MRI machine. They don’t ever develop cavities or require a root canal. In the picture below, the implant is the portion that replaces the root of a tooth, and supports the crown.
The orientation of a dental implant is very important for several reasons. First, the implant must support a tooth (crown) and in order to do so, it must be placed in healthy bone. It must be placed with adequate distance away from adjacent teeth and vital structures such as nerves. A poorly placed implant can result in tooth loss, bone loss, or permanent numbness if a nerve is injured during surgery. For these reasons, proper imaging and surgeon experience are critical for long term success.
One of the ways to optimize implant placement during surgery is with the use of a surgical guide. This customized device looks similar to a mouth guard and is fabricated prior to surgery. At the time of surgery, the surgical guide is placed into the patient’s mouth and preparation for the implant is done through a cylinder inside the guide. In this way, the angulation of the drill as well as the depth of the drill are all controlled according to the pre-surgical plan.
In a way, surgical guides reduce and almost eliminate human error from the surgery. The entire surgery is planned digitally to achieve the proper orientation of the dental implant. The surgical guides are 3D printed and are extremely accurate. At my office, the guide is fabricated through digital scanning technology – so there is no need for traditional impressions which can be uncomfortable, messy, and cause gagging. Schedule a consultation today for more information on how guided implant surgery can help achieve the best results for your implant surgery.
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