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Computer-Guided Implant Surgery

Imagine this: An implant surgeon is performing a thorough examination of your mouth. The surgeon rotates your jaw from side to side and up and down, looking for the optimal sites in which to place dental implants — and the proper size, shape and orientation for the implants to have. He or she may test several alternatives, considering the underlying anatomical structures, and the bone density and quality that the examination reveals. Finally, a surgical plan is developed: This includes a set of precise specifications for implant position, size and depth, and a template for creating a perfectly fitting set of replacement teeth. But no invasive procedures of any type have been performed so far. In fact, you aren't even present.

Welcome to the world of computer-guided dental implant surgery. What we have described is one step in the process that allows you to receive a set of replacement teeth with the minimum amount of surgery (and time spent in the dental chair), and the maximum level of preplanning foresight. It can result in faster overall treatment time, less discomfort, and an outcome that pleases everyone. Let's look a little more closely at the entire process of computer-guided implant surgery — a procedure at the forefront of dental implant technology.

The First Phase: Making A Virtual Model

It all begins with a complete examination and modeling of your existing teeth, gum and jaw structures. In many cases, a physical impression (replica) of the jaws is made, which will aid in planning the location of the new teeth. But the modeling doesn't stop there: A high-tech, three-dimensional CT (computed tomography) scan is also performed. This allows us to examine the structures (including bone, nerve tissue and sinus cavities) which lieinside the jaw. It is often accomplished using “cone-beam” CT technology, in which the scanning device quickly captures a complete digital image of internal structures as it rotates around your head.

The next step of the process relies on powerful computers and sophisticated software to take the raw CT scan data and translate it into a 3-D model of the jaw. This virtual model can be manipulated on a computer screen — rotated, measured, even “operated” on — so that we can visualize the placement of dental implants and determine their optimum position with a high degree of accuracy. Using this technology, it's now possible for us to evaluate anatomical structures virtually — structures it once would have taken surgery to reveal — and to plan out the implant procedure accordingly.

The 3-D model we have developed is then used for two purposes: to create a precise guide for the implant surgery, and to allow the dental laboratory to pre-manufacture a set of replacement teeth that will fit precisely in the jaw. An advanced set of CAD/CAM (computer aided design/manufacture) processes is used to generate the physical objects — in this case, the surgical guide and the prosthetic teeth. Depending on your individual situation, the new teeth may be attached the same day as implant surgery, or after a healing period of 6 to 12 weeks. In either case, our precision modeling ensures that they will fit perfectly with the implants and the jaw.

Implant Surgery: Following the Plan

The implant surgery itself is typically performed under local anesthesia, and often requires no sutures (stitches). In the surgical procedure, the template we have produced (which resembles a nightguard or athletic mouthguard) is securely (but temporarily) fixed in position on the jaw. The openings in this template form precise guides for the placement of the implants — accurate in terms of position, width and depth. In fact, the implants fit so perfectly into these prepared sites that we can have new teeth placed the same day as implant surgery.

Since so many of the details have been accomplished in the planning stages, computer-guided implant surgery is typically uneventful for the patient. It can result in shorter time in the chair, less discomfort during recovery — and a highly pleasing result. It has even been called the most significant innovation in implant technology since osseointegration — the fundamental process by which a dental implant becomes fused with the bone.

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General Dental Services We Provide Tooth colored composite fillings Oral Surgery (Simple and Surgical Extractions) Dentures (Cosmetic or Standard) Same Day Dentures Partial Dentures (Snap On Smile, Metal free, Standard Metal based) Porcelain Crowns and Bridges Root Canal Treatment Children of all ages (3 years old & up) Laser Dentistry Services We Provide Laser Gum Surgery - WPT Laser Assisted "No Shot" Fillings Laser Cold Sore Treatment Laser Fever Blister Treatment Laser Root Canal Treatment - PIPs Laser Crown Lengthening Periodontal Services We Provide Comprehensive Gum Disease Screenings Gum Disease Deep Cleaning Therapy Arestin Antibiotic Placement Implant Services We Provide Bone Grafting at Implant Site (day of tooth removal) Surgical Placement of Mini Implants (to retain dentures) Mini Dental Implants (secure loose dentures) Surgical Placement of Conventional Implants (to replace a missing or lost tooth) Implant Supported Crowns, Bridges, and Dentures Implant Supported Full Arch Hybrid Bridges Orthodontic Services We Provide Invisalign Inman Aligners Orthodontic Retainers (bonded & removable) TMJ Splints Bite Guards Cosmetic Services We Provide  Botox Durathin No Prep Veneers Porcelain Veneers Whitening (Zoom in-office, Strips, or Trays)  Read more about Cosmetic & General Dentistry Services Denture Services We Provide Loose Dentures (Cosmetic or Standard) Same Day Dentures Partial Dentures (Metal free and Standard Metal based) Snap on Smile Sedation Services Oral Sedation Nitrous Oxide Gas Sedation Sleep Apnea Services CPAP Alternative Oral Appliances Respire, Tap, Herbst, & SUAD

Bone Grafting FAQs
What is bone grafting...

Cost of Not Replacing Missing Teeth
...In fact, bone grafting is presently a relatively common in-office procedure that can be done as one stage of the implant process...

Immediate Implants
... If radiographic (x-ray) examination reveals that there is not enough bone to support the implant initially, it doesn't mean you can't have a dental implant; it just means that you will probably need to have a routine bone grafting procedure as the tooth is removed, and then allow the area to heal for several months before having a second procedure to place the implant...

Surgically Accessing Sinuses can Help Grow New Bone for Implants
...Fortunately, some of the bone can be regenerated through techniques that place bone grafting material at the site to stimulate and serve as a scaffold for new bone...

Look at Your Options for Saving a Tooth First Before Replacing it
... Bone grafting...

Charlize Theron Back in Action After Dental Surgery
...At first, she thought it was a cavity — but later, she found out it was more serious: One tooth needed a root canal, and the other had to be extracted and replaced with a dental implant — but first, a bone grafting procedure was needed...

We may Need to Build up the Bone in Your Jaw before Implants
...But it will require us first performing a procedure known as augmentation or bone grafting to help rejuvenate some of the lost bone...

Crazy Little Thing Called... Hyperdontia?
... After extraction, some bone grafting material may be placed in the tooth socket and gauze may be applied to control bleeding; sutures (stitches) are sometimes used as well...

Your Gums and Bone Need to Be Healthy Before Getting Implants
...Fortunately, though, we may be able to address the lack of sufficient bone through bone grafting...