What Is 3D Guided Implant Surgery
Posted on: March 7, 2022
2 minute read
Dental implant treatments have a high rate of success when they’re provided by an experienced dentist, and modern technologies are making the implant procedure even more reliable.
One recent breakthrough is 3D guided implant surgery. This enables dentists to plan and complete implant treatments with a higher level of accuracy and predictability using a form of keyhole surgery.
Read more about how this revolutionary approach is making dental implant treatments safer, faster and less invasive.
Benefits of 3D guided implant surgery
This new method of planning and placing dental implants can simplify the procedure for patients and practitioners alike. Other advantages of digitally-guided implants include:
Sophisticated design software helps dentists to pre-plan the ideal position for implants in the jaw. The entire surgery is digitally planned, performed and evaluated before a patient even sits down. A custom 3D-printed surgical guide enables practitioners to carefully place implants with greater precision than is possible by freehand.
More predictable outcomes
A 3D bone scan shows your dentist the amount of jaw bone available to support dental implants. This is a major factor in determining whether you are a candidate for dental implants, if you may require a bone grafting procedure first, or if you could be better suited to an alternative treatment, such as a dental bridge.
Placing a dental implant as little as one millimetre out from the planned site can impact the treatment outcome. By using guided surgery, the dentist can place the implant precisely, enabling a more predictable outcome.
Shorter surgery and healing time
3D printed surgical guides enable implant procedures to be completed in a shorter time frame. The recovery period is also usually shorter.
Less invasive procedure
Keyhole surgery allows dental implant procedures to be completed with smaller incisions in the gum and less trauma to the implant site, reducing discomfort and aiding shorter healing time for patients.
Lower risk of complications
The greater accuracy of 3D guided implant surgery means there is a reduced risk of damage to surrounding bone, teeth and nerves and a lower risk of complications such as swelling, bruising or implant failure.
Does 3D guided implant surgery improve results?
Research is still ongoing into the long-term success of 3D guided implant treatments, as the process is relatively new, but results from limited trials are promising.
One European study compared results after five years from patients benefiting from 3D implant planning software and customised surgical templates and patients using conventional freehand implant placement.
After five years, subjects in the computer-guided group reported:
- no implant failures (compared to 2 failures in the conventional group)
- a lower rate of complications (6 vs. 11 in the conventional group)
- reduced bone loss and post-surgical pain and swelling
How does computer-guided implant surgery work?
The first stage of the treatment after your initial consultation is taking a 3D bone scan (known as a CBCT scan) and a 3D digital scan of your teeth.
This allows your dentist to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for dental implants and to see the location of nerves, sinuses and other vital structures to make sure these are avoided during surgery.
Once treatment planning is complete, your custom surgical guide will be produced using your digital scans and a 3D printer. This helps to guide your dentist as they place the implant in your jaw.
Following implant surgery to replace a single missing tooth, it can take 3 to 6 months for the jaw bone to integrate around the implant, after which time your permanent replacement crown can be attached.
Full mouth implant bridges and All-On-4 teeth can replace an entire arch within five days. Implant bridges are made of titanium-reinforced acrylic attached to titanium dental implants. This type of bridge can last between two to five years and sometimes longer before needing to be replaced or upgraded to a zirconia bridge.
Watch Dr Norcross as he explains 3D-Guided surgery in this short video:
Book an implant consultation in Perth
If you want to know more about 3D guided implant surgery and whether you may be eligible, book a consultation with our accredited implant dentist Dr David Norcross at Perth Dental Implant Centre.
We have in-house CBCT scanners at our local clinics in East Victoria Park and Kelmscott. Call 1300 108 133 to book at our Kelmscott or East Vic Park clinic to find out how we can help.
- Tallarico M, Esposito M, Xhanari E, Caneva M, Meloni SM. Computer-guided vs freehand placement of immediately loaded dental implants: 5-year postloading results of a randomised controlled trial. Eur J Oral Implantol. 2018;11(2):203-213. PMID: 29806667.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.