Computer-Guided Implant Planning
One of the newest technological advances involves the utilization of CT scans and software programs to virtually plan an implant treatment. This technology has allowed us to provide the best of care for our dental implant patients. We typically use this technology when multiple implants are needed and when dental radiographs do not provide adequate information to determine if there is suitable jawbone available for dental implants. We take a CT scan in our office of the patient’s upper or lower jaw or both, based on the proposed treatment area, and the information is then converted to a virtual image. This virtual image allows the periodontist and the restorative dentist to accurately measure bone anatomy and to craft implant treatment plans with the utmost precision. Below is an example of a converted scan showing where implants will be placed before the patient is ever taken into surgery. Once the implant placements are precisely planned virtually, a surgical guide is fabricated that accurately transfers this information directly to the surgery. Advantages of this approach include:
- Reduces surgical time;
- Eliminates unknowns such as whether bone grafting is needed;
- Allows for the most precise implant placement;
- Facilitates communication between the surgeon, restorative dentist, lab technician, and patient; and
- Enables the surgeon, restorative dentist, and lab technician to rehearse the procedures virtually before actually performing them.