What is Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implant surgery is a procedure that replaces a missing or heavily diseased tooth. The procedure replaces the tooth and its roots with a stable, metal post, called an implant, that is then topped with a toothlike crown.
The procedure is time-consuming and sometimes invasive. The patient’s tooth is surgically removed as well as the tooth’s roots, under the gumline. A bone graft of the jaw is often required if the patient has reduced bone density in their jaw bone.
Several months of healing after the surgery are normal. The crowns are not placed until after the gums and jawbone have properly healed.
Drawbacks to Dental Implant Surgery
While patients do get permanent fake teeth as the result of dental implant surgery, which greatly improves the patient’s quality of life, there are some significant drawbacks to the dental procedure.
The first major drawback of traditional dental implant surgery is the time involved to manufacture, fit and insert the dental implants. Multiple dental office visits are required of the patient, which is inconvenient. Prior to the surgery, the patient must meet with the dentist to have their mouths examined. Images of the jaw are taken to give the dentist an idea of where the best place for the implants will be. Images and molds of the patient’s other teeth are done so that the dentist can give implant tooth (crowns) dimensions to their dental lab. Weeks, sometimes months are needed for the dental lab to make the implants and return them to the dentist. This time of crown production is often when the patient is recovering from the implant surgery. Once the implants are at the dental office and the patient’s gums and jaw have healed, the placing of the crowns can commence.
Multiple follow-up appointments are often scheduled to check the condition of the implants and whether the patient feels any discomfort.
The second drawback to traditional dental implant surgery is that the placement and size, shape and look of the resulting dental implant and crown are not always accurate.
Dentists who rely on older forms of dental imaging and molds can’t completely assess how the teeth will look in the patient’s mouth and where the ideal positioning should be.
A third drawback to traditional implant surgery is the possible discomfort following the procedure. As the positioning, size, shape and feel of the resulting implants can be less than ideal, there is a greater chance of possible infection, and ill-fitting implants. This can result in irritation, pain and discomfort of the patient.
What is Guided Implant Surgery
Guided dental implant surgery is when the dentist utilizes advanced machinery and imaging technology to “guide” or aid them to manufacture and place dental implants more efficiently, precisely and accurately.
Computer guided implant surgery is significantly quicker, oftentimes resulting in the patient getting his or her new teeth on a single dental office visit.
This new and improved dental implant surgery allows the dentist to have a more complete picture of the patient’s mouth and accurately produce the most appropriate dental implants. These steps that use to require many dental office visits can now be performed on the same day, concluding with the surgery.
In one day, a patient can have new teeth and a renewed smile.
The technology commonly used in computer-guided dental implant surgery include: 3D imaging, computerized topography (CT) scans, CAD and CAM computer imaging and digital x-rays.
The general process of guided implant surgery is as follows: A CT scan of the patient is taken and the dentist and his or her assistant come up with an individualized surgery treatment plan unique to that patient. The dentist then utilized advanced computer technology to place the implant. The dentist then uses 3D imaging technology and CAD digital design software to fabricate models of the crowns to be placed. The dental lab receives the models and digitally designs the restorations, using CAM software. The dentist then places the new crowns on the implants. Finally, digital x-rays are taken to ensure proper placement and dimensions of the implants and crowns.
Computer-guided dental implant surgery is one of the many advances in the dental industry that makes for more effective treatment and more enjoyable patient experience.
If your dental office isn’t currently offering guided implant surgery to patients, you should. If you offer guided implant surgery, Arrowhead Dental Laboratory has the most current software and machines to enhance the quality of your guided implant surgery procedures even more.
Contact us today to speak to one of our dental lab representative to learn more about guided implant surgery and its technology so you can give your patients the best care possible and provide them with a pleasant dental experience.