If you are missing a tooth or several teeth, you have likely heard of dental implants as a replacement option. A dental implant is a surgical component that interfaces with the jaw to support a dental prosthesis. Normally, this is either a single-tooth crown, bridge or denture. Modern dental implants have been around since the 1980’s; however, many recent technological advancements have allowed for the procedure to be safer, more predictable, and more time efficient, allowing us to offer the best care to our patients. One of the more recent advancements in dental implant surgery is computer guided implant surgery.
Using an intraoral scanner (CEREC) and 3-D imaging (Cone Beam Computerized Tomography (CBCT)), Dr. Matthew Scheske, at Brodhagen Dental Care, can now visualize the placement of dental implants virtually and then accurately place an implant in the most safe, predictable, and efficient manner. Guided dental implant surgery eliminates the guesswork involved and helps determine what parts of the jawbone offer the best sites for dental implant placement. Additionally, the modalities used at Brodhagen Dental Care allow placement of the implant in the ideal position and angulation to allow for better healing, a better long-term prognosis, and more accurate results. This technology enables our doctors to get an advanced, detailed look at the interior sections of the jaw bone, surrounding tissue, and the nerves. Lastly, it helps your doctor avoid any pitfalls, such as placing the implant at an incorrect angle or adjacent to a structure that would be less than desirable. As will be described, we plan our placement of the implant to be in the best location for the final crown, crowns, or denture.
At Brodhagen Dental Care, the first step towards receiving a new tooth or teeth is to do a thorough oral and medical exam to be certain that the patient is not only a candidate for guided implants, but for implants in general. In some scenarios, a removable appliance or bridge may be the best restoration for specific circumstances, conditions, and objectives.
Patients that decide to proceed with dental implant placement after evaluation will have a CBCT 3-dimensional radiograph obtained of their jaw.
This CBCT scan instrument is very similar to those used to aid surgeons in joint replacement procedures. Additionally, Dr. Scheske will scan the area of the mouth in which the tooth or teeth are to be replaced with Brodhagen Dental Care’s intraoral scanner (CEREC). This scanner gives us a proposal of what the final crown or crowns will look like for the tooth or teeth that are missing. The intraoral scan of the teeth and surrounding tissues is then digitally linked with the 3-dimensional radiograph. Dr. Scheske then plans the implant digitally with the patient present.
During this planning session, several things are discussed with the patient, including: the quality and quantity of the bone, the proximity of the implant to vital structures (such as the maxillary sinus and nerves), the angulation of the implant, and the planned timeline for the procedure.
After all of the patient’s questions are answered, Dr. Scheske finalizes the digital position of the implant and mills a surgical guide that using his guided implant kit will place the implant in the mouth at the very same position that it is placed digitally in front of the patient. Again, the number one reason that we placed implants via guided surgery is safety and predictability.
Often times guided implant surgery can be done flapless-meaning that the soft tissues or gums do not need to be surgically incised. This often leads to quicker healing and less post-treatment discomfort. Additionally, at the time of surgery, the entire procedure goes quicker as the surgical guide lends to efficient, safe, placement.
At our office, the use of fully integrated computer guided dental implants allow us to provide safe, efficient and predictable dental implant placement for the same investment as the placement of dental implants without this revolutionary technology.