As a dental laboratory that works with a lot of dentists and likes to keep up with things through social media, we see different opinions about guided implant surgery. There are people who welcome new concepts and then there are those who are unconvinced. What do we think? Well, we can say that given the proper training, guided surgery is the perfect solution that will allow doctors to plan implants virtually and place implants accurately in the safest and most efficient way.
With guided surgery, dentists can place implants and know that they’ll get the most aesthetic results. Furthermore, they can superimpose abutments and have a clear idea how much room will be necessary for the crown and other veneered suprastructure that may be needed.
One of the main reasons that we recommend guided surgery is because of safety. As you know, the surgical guide may rest on the bone, gingiva, or teeth. It can limit the depth of the drill and that of the implant.
The standard periapical radiograph used is a 2D representation of a 3D object, so valuable images of anatomic landmarks like sinuses and nerves get superimposed upon one another. While it is true that the mesiodistal bone width can be assessed with a 2D image accurately, you should remember that it’s just a small piece of a much larger picture. With a 3D image, you can see where exactly the submandibular fossa is and where the nerves lie. You can also find the optimal placement of the implant platform in relation to the bony crest, as well as the accurate width of the implant needed and where the implant screw access will be in relation to the restoration and perhaps most importantly, the bone density.
The second reason we highly recommend guided surgery is predictability. There is no need for any guesswork. As a dentist, you have to assess what patients need and want and have an idea of how they will look when they get their teeth back and how they would feel about it. With the software, you can show your patient the end result of his or her implant treatment. You can also use it discuss in detail with your patient if there is any reason they cannot get implants.
Another reason you should consider guided surgery is because of its efficiency. A few years ago, dentists would spend hours in implant surgery – and before that, days and nights of planning. With guided surgery, you can be confident that everything is figured out even before the patient arrives for surgery. More than that, you won’t count hours but instead just minutes in surgery.
Change is not always easy to accept but technology pushes you to catch up. While other “innovations” have ended up being replaced or phased out, you can be sure that CAD/CAM systems, CBCT scanners, and implants are here to stay.
If you are thinking of improving your practice’s services, contact Dental Laboratory Associates and we’ll talk about how you can do just that.