From 9:00am – 6:00pm
Dental implants have been a long-accepted and reliable modality to replace a missing tooth or teeth. The success of a dental implant depends on a number of different factors. One of the greatest factors in dental implant therapy success, which is often overlooked, is positioning. The ideal implant placement is “prosthetically driven” in that the position is dictated by the planned dental restorations. With the advent of in-office digital dental technology, there is a process that can be utilized to ensure that a dental implant is placed in the desired location.
The first step of this process is creating a digital replica of the patient’s teeth using an intraoral scanner. An intraoral scanner is a device that takes hundreds of individual photos of the patient’s teeth and splices them together to create a three-dimensional image. These images are manifested into what is called an STL (stereolithography) file. STL files are universal 3D images used in CAD/CAM design for many different types of modern manufacturing technologies.
The next step is to take a three-dimensional radiograph of the patient’s bone. This is done by way of a Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) machine which allows us to precisely determine the exact size and shape of the intended area for implant placement. These two processes, the intraoral scan and CBCT, are often done in one simple appointment as a part of an implant consultation.
Once the three-dimensional data has been gathered, the position of the implant is then planned using state of the art software. Once the implant position has been finalized, a surgical guide is then designed and 3D printed, which will allow the clinician to place the implant in the planned position.
The surgical guide has a sleeve which allows for the bone preparation (osteotomy) to be created in the planned position relative to the intended implant placement. The guide itself is supported by the patient’s teeth which can be easily placed and removed.
The benefits of a three-dimensionally planned implant surgical guide are multifactorial. They can help the clinician ensure the precise placement of the implant as well as decrease the time of the procedure, making it much more comfortable for the patient. The standard of care for implant dentistry is shifting towards clinicians using a guide during implant placement and our office proudly uses this strategy to deliver the best care possible for our patients.
* Open every other Thursday