Guided dental implant surgery is an innovative dental procedure utilizing new digital technology which provides a precise and efficient method to place dental implants quickly, comfortably, and accurately. With guided dental implant surgery, the oral surgeon maps out the entire oral surgery procedure virtually through the use of 3D images and a computerized model of the patient’s mouth. In this way, the surgeon can see all aspects of the dental implant surgery before it ever actually happens.
At Pacific Oral Surgery, we employ the latest technology related to dental implant surgery. We are able to get cross-sectional images immediately with our on-site Cone Beam Computerized Tomography (CBCT) scanner which delivers high clarity with significantly less radiation than conventional scanners. A position statement from the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology states, “The AAOMR recommends that cross-sectional imaging be used for the assessment of all dental implant sites and that CBCT is the imaging method of choice for gaining this information.”
With this dental imaging, your surgeon can view:
- Shape, thickness, and height of the jawbone structure that would determine if bone grafting for dental implants is necessary
- Location of nerves and sinuses
- Proximity of adjacent teeth, roots, and other anatomical structures
- Gum tissue thickness
State-of-the-Art Dental Implant Software
Your surgeon then employs a specialized state-of-the-art dental implant software to calculate each detail of the upcoming surgery. The dental implant software evaluates:
- Exact dimensions of the mouth and teeth
- Optimal bite position
- Restoration longevity
- Chewing performance
Virtual Guided Dental Implant Surgery
Using all of the data provided by the software, the surgeon performs a virtual surgery on a computer model of the patient’s teeth and jaw. The exact size of the dental implants and their position are determined during the virtual surgery on the digital model. The abutment can also be digitally superimposed to predict the space needed for the forthcoming crown or veneered dental implant suprastructure.
The 3-dimensional computer model can be shared with the restorative dentist in order for the prosthetic dental work to begin and be ready for placement on the day of the actual guided dental implant surgery. The digital plan created by the surgeon is then used to design a surgical guide or template (shaped much like an orthodontic splint) which is worn by the patient during the guided dental implant surgery.
Preparing for Guided Dental Implant Surgery
While your surgeon is preparing for your implant surgery through the use of high-tech computer models and software, you will need to take steps to be ready for your procedure as well. Following these instructions will help ensure that your oral surgery and recovery proceed as smoothly and quickly as possible.
- Do not smoke for at least one month prior to surgery
- Avoid alcoholic beverages for a week before the procedure
- Do not eat or drink for 6-8 hours prior to surgery
- Be sure to arrange a ride home after surgery
- Have someone stay with you for the first hours of recovery
What to Expect During Guided Dental Implant Surgery
Once your surgeon has completely mapped out the guided dental implant surgery on a virtual basis, the dental implant treatment plan can ensue. Because all the assessments have been made prior to surgery, the implant procedure can be performed in a relatively short time period.
Depending on the number of implants you are receiving, either local anesthesia or IV sedation will be used to make you comfortable during the in-office surgery. The surgical guide fabricated from the information digitally gathered fits precisely into the patient’s mouth, allowing the doctor to place the implants in the optimal position. The surgical guide also limits the depth of the drill and implant, making the procedure precise and safe.
Because the exact placement location is predetermined, no incision needs to be made in the gum tissue, making the process more comfortable and less invasive. Post-operative swelling and pain are minimized, and recovery time is shortened. In most cases, guided implant surgery can be completed in less than an hour, even with multiple implants involved.
Once the implants are placed, the abutments, as well as the crowns, can be integrated into the mouth immediately thanks to the digital pre-planning. Because so many aspects of the guided dental implant surgery can be done in advance, the entire process can now be completed in hours rather than months.
Benefits of Guided Dental Implant Surgery
Guided dental implant surgery is simplifying the dental implant treatment process, while employing the latest technology available, to make it faster, safer, and more comfortable.
- Extremely precise due to 3D imaging and specialized software
- Reduced surgery time
- Minimized trauma to the hard and soft oral tissues
- Less invasive (no incisions or sutures required)
- Can eliminate the need for bone grafting or other periodontal procedures
- Minimal risk
- Less discomfort and faster recovery time
- Efficient (implants, abutments, and crowns can be placed during one procedure)
- High success rate
Guided dental implant surgery cannot be utilized on all dental implant patients. It is recommended often in cases involving:
- Full mouth implant restoration
- Significant jawbone loss
- High aesthetic challenges
Guided dental implant surgery is revolutionizing the dental implant process. Patients who were formerly not considered to be good candidates for dental implants or who could not spend months undergoing treatment are having their lives transformed with new, beautiful, functioning teeth.
If you are interested in finding out if guided dental implant surgery is right for you, or if you would like more information on the process, please submit an online appointment request or call one of our Pacific Oral Surgery offices located in Ventura, Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley.