Doctors now do computer guided virtual surgery while the patient is not in the office to prepare for actual surgery. Computer guided surgery is also more precise.
One of the advantages I see from being in this practice since 1984 is how the whole dental implant field has developed over time. Initially, when we started doing implants, it was just most important to place the implant wherever there was available bone. It was never recognized at that time that the implants, to function as natural permanent teeth, required that the implants be placed where the final restoration was going to be. Now we are so much more aware of what we describe as prosthetically or restoratively based treatment planning.
One of the greatest advances in the implant field has been the use of computer guided surgery. In our office, we have a Cone Beam CT scanner that allows us to take three-dimensional digital images of the patient’s jaw. And from these pictures we can have computerized guides made that allow us to place the implants in the exact position where the final restoration needs to be located.
This technology helps in planning because it is simply more precise. In the old days when we used to eyeball it and try to place the implants in what we thought was the best position. We are now able to know where the final restoration is going to be and with computer guided templates and better placement during surgery, we can place the implants exactly where the restorative dentist needs it be to complete the process with precision.
Using our sophisticated software, we can virtually place implants within a patient’s bone before the actual surgery. This use of technology allows us to know exactly what to expect when we do the actual procedure. So, by the time we go to surgery, we have already not only pre-planned but also pre-placed the implants in the patient’s virtual bone before placing it in their bone.
Dr. Leonard Spector