There are many things that make different patients pick their implant dentist. Some people simply go off of the personality of their dentist while others focus on techniques and technology. We like to think that the best doctors have the best of both worlds. Guided implant surgery is one thing that sets aside many expert implant surgeons from the rest of the pack.
How is implant dentistry traditionally done?
Dental implants have been around for decades and although many have years of success, we have seen a big problem in implant dentistry based on the incorrect positioning of the implant. This makes the restorative part (making the tooth on top of the implant) much more difficult and can leave patients with food traps between their teeth that cause inflammation or a bad smell. So why would implant surgeons place the implants in the wrong position? The answer is that it is very difficult to place an implant in the ideal position without special techniques and technology. Traditionally, when an implant is placed, the patient is given local anesthesia and the gums are opened and the doctor starts searching for bone in which they can place the implant. Once they find the bone, they try to drill the hole in the correct position but it doesn’t always end up that way. Many surgeons do not care where the implant is placed because they do not have the make the crown on top of the implant so they leave it in a bad position and let the restorative doctor fix the problem. Here are some examples of improperly placed implants.
Poorly placed dental implants
How is guided implant surgery done?
Guided implant surgery is the safest, most predictable way of placing dental implants. The patient gets a digital impression with a digital scanner and a CBCT scan (3D x-ray). This allows the doctor to view the patient in a 3D realm and properly plan the surgery. On the computer, the surgeon can place the implant digitally all knowing the ideal position of the tooth. Any problems can be foreseen and the doctor can practice the surgery a few times before doing it on the patient. Once the ideal position is decided, the doctor can 3D print a guide which allows the doctor to place the implant in the ideal position. The guide looks like a mouthguard that has a hole in it in the perfect position for the implant. Every step of the surgery is done through the guide and ensures the best possible outcome of the surgery
Implants placed through a guided surgery protocol
Which one would you choose?
Now that you have learned how guided surgery works, which way would you choose for your family or your own mouth? With only about 5% of implantologists using guided surgery, it makes those that understand this concept very high in demand for those patients who want the best treatment in implant dentistry.