Dental Implants 101
Our doctors are nationally recognized as experts in the field of minimally invasive dental implant placement and the latest digital technologies in implant dentistry. They are nationally recognized speakers, and clinicians in the placement of dental implants using state of the art computerized three dimensional “virtual” implant treatment planning and placement.
These technologies allow for a close collaboration between the restorative doctor and the surgeon. The restorative dentist or prosthodontist first determines the ideal positions, contours, and esthetics of the planned tooth. The technology then allows for the accurate predictable placement of dental implants on a computer screen, in a “virtual” environment, according to the planned tooth position as it relates to the jaw anatomy of the individual patient. In essence, the doctors determine the ideal tooth position first, and then work backwards in their implant planning, with precision. This merging of knowledge and experience achieves not only increased safety, but also a more precise implant placement, and a potentially improved esthetic and long term outcome.
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The process starts when a CAT scan is taken of the patient’s jaw while the patient wears an appliance which reproduces where the planned teeth are going to be fabricated. This scan is typically taken using an in-office scanner. The CAT scan allows for the generation of a 3-D model of the jawbone, which can then be used in “virtual reality” computer software to plan the implant placement without the presence of the patient. An appliance is then fabricated from the “virtual” treatment plan to perfectly reproduce the planned placement of the implants in the patient’s mouth.
The computer-guided implant surgery can be done without making any tissue incisions and requires no tissue flap reflection. This allows for minimally invasive implant placement in a manner in which the patient experiences minimal pain and swelling. The fabrication of a temporary fixed bridge can be completed prior to the surgery and inserted at the time of implant placement. The patient can leave the office after implant placement with fixed, non-removable teeth immediately. This technology can be used for the placement of one implant, a few implants, or a full arch (upper or lower) of implants.