Dental implants have long been considered the best option for replacing missing teeth. More recently, guided implant surgery has revolutionized the process yet again. And Implant Dentist Dr. I. Stephen Brown is again a pioneer in using this approach to better serve patients in his Philadelphia office.
The procedure uses three-dimentional CT images to create a virtual model of your mouth. This gives your dentist a good look at the shape of the bone structure, the proximity of adjacent teeth, and thickness of gum tissue. He then uses dedicated dental implant software to plan every detail of the surgery. The result is a faster, more accurate, and less invasive placement of the actual implants.
This procedure relies heavily on good planning to vastly improve the capabilities and minimize risks during the implant surgery. The treatment proceeds as follows:
Step 1. Dr. Brown will use a conebeam CT scanner to create a 3D digital image of your mouth that will be used as a model for surgery. CT scanners were originally developed for neurosurgery. The conebeam is similar to scanners used by other physicians but emits significantly less radiation.
Step 2. He then uses specialized software to virtually place the implants. From the 3D image he can gauge the thickness, height, and shape of the jawbone as well as the position of adjacent tooth roots and other vital anatomical structures. Dr. Brown chooses the right implant and positions it perfectly in the digital model. With this detailed understanding of your jaw, it is possible to place implants where bone structure is insufficient with traditional implant surgery.
Step 3. Using the digital plan your dentist creates, a lab will fabricate a surgical template or guide. This precision instrument aids Dr. Brown in recreating the virtual surgery plan down to the millimeter.
Step 4. During the surgery, the patient will wear the guide, which is shaped similarly to an orthodontic splint. Dr. Brown uses this to complete the surgery and place the dental implant in the optimal position. In many cases, he can then place crowns, bridges, or implant supported dentures in the same visit.
If you are missing teeth and have put off dental implant surgery either because you've been told you aren't a candidate, that it would take extensive preparation including bone grafting, or that the process could take many months to complete, it's time you come in and learn more about guided dental implants. Dr. Brown will be happy to discuss the procedure and answer any questions you have. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.