What is Guided Dental Implant Surgery?
Guided dental implant surgery is an advanced technique to provide dental implants for the replacement of missing teeth. It utilizes computerized tomography (CT ) scans together with specialist imaging software to help insert a Dental Implant at the exact position depth and angle; ensuring that the implant is accurately placed in the optimum position. Although the technology used is complicated, guided dental implant surgery considerably simplifies the surgical treatment process eliminating the need for guesswork and drastically increasing success rates.
A 3-dimensional scan of the patient’s mouth is taken with the use of a Cone Beam Volumetric Tomography (CBVT) scanner. This type of scan provides a full 3D computerized image of the jawbone and existing teeth and also gives an accurate indication of the density of the bone. The dental surgeon uses specialized software to manipulate the image and plan the exact location of the implant.
An impression of the teeth is taken and A ‘guide’ is then manufactured which fits closely over the patient’s existing teeth. The guide has a small tube of metal running through it – known as a sleeve – which will be used to guide the dental instruments used in the procedure. The guide Increases the precision and predictability of the dental implant surgery and ensures the implant will be placed in the exact position, angle, and depth as intended.
With the guide in place in the patient’s mouth, a tissue punch is used – guided by the sleeve – to make a small circular hole in the gum tissue. A hole is then drilled to accommodate the implant with the use of a series of increasing larger diameter drill bits. To make sure the hole is being created in the exact position and angle; secondary sleeves are held in place by the surgeon inside the sleeve embedded in the guide in the guide. The depth of the drilling is accurately determined by ‘stops’ on the drill bits.
After the drilling is complete, the dental surgeon will screw titanium implant in place to form the foundation for the replacement tooth. The top of the implant will be at around the same height of the gum and a temporary cap – known as a healing abutment – will be fixed to the top of it to form a smooth surface.
Over the following six weeks the titanium implant will fully integrate with the jawbone in a process known as osseointegration. Titanium is used as it has unique properties that enable it to be fully accepted by the body’s immune system. It becomes so well incorporated in the existing jaw bone that it provides the strongest possible foundation for the implant.
Following the healing period, the patient returns to the dental surgery and a final abutment and ceramic crown are inserted providing a highly effective replacement tooth.
Guided dental implant surgery is the most advanced implant technology available today and it is suitable for the majority of patients. In comparison to conventional implant techniques, guided surgery makes it possible for dental surgeons to accurately position tooth implants eliminating the need for guesswork. This results in a significantly increased success rate and more predictable results.