Smartlife: Innovative Computer Guided Implant Surgery

4 minute(s) read
Smartlife: Innovative Computer Guided Implant Surgery


When people lose a tooth and require dental prothesis, many of them also lose their confidence for fear that the prosthetic tooth may fall off or affect their personality.  Fear no more!  Today, these concerns can be overcome because there is now an innovative technique that will retain your self-confidence.  A dental implant surgery allows the lost natural tooth to be replaced, with the implant functioning as normal as before. 

What is dental implant?

The material for the prosthetic root implant can be titanium or ceramic, and is crafted to shape like a screw.  It is then embedded into the jawbone as a base for a dental crown, dental bridge, or removable full denture to replace missing teeth.

The aim is to replace missing teeth by using the implant to firmly secure the dental crown or bridge, or to hold removable dentures in place to avoid the risk of the dentures moving or slipping.   

The entire dental implant treatment will take approximately 3-6 months, depending on number of visits and other factors such as condition and quality of jawbones, number of implants, etc.

In replacing the missing teeth with a dental implant, every step of the procedure is very important; as the dentist has to place the implant at the appropriate location.  The most common method is to take a dental impression and an x-ray to help identify the position of the implant.  This will rely mainly on the experience and expertise of the dentist.


What is Computer Guided Implant Surgery?

Today, there is a technology that enables more precise placement of a dental implant. This technology is known as computer guided implant surgery, and it uses a computer program combined with radiograph and oral cavity or teeth impression images to determine the position of the implant.  The technology allows the dentist to have a complete virtual reality view of the implant’s location.  It helps the dentist determine precisely from a computer monitor where the implant will be placed, and the location can then be mapped accurately onto the actual point in the patient’s mouth. 

Computer Guided Implant Surgery is the procedure that utilizes a computer program in conjunction with 3D imaging (Cone-Beam CT) to help plan and identify the location for the prosthetic root.  The computer program combines an image of the patient’s oral cavity or teeth imprint with 3D radiograph to produce a virtual reality image that shows the relationship between bone structure and position of the teeth as well as other vital organs, such as nerves and sinuses.  This will allow the appropriate size and precise location of the implant to be properly selected according to the actual position, in the patient’s mouth enabling greater effectiveness.


Computer Guided Implant Surgery Process

The process starts with an oral cavity examination, using a 3D radiograph, to determine if it is suitable for an implant and to plan the treatment accordingly.  The dentist will choose the proper size, number and length of the implant based on factors such as jawbone thickness, number of missing teeth, before proposing the treatment plan to the patient.  Generally, installing a dental implant at a planned location requires about 2-6 months’ wait, to ensure that the prosthetic root is properly secured to the patient’s bone. 

During this process, having seen the detailed condition of the patient’s oral cavity, the dentist will proceed to installing the prosthetic root using a locator implement.  This enables a much shorter surgery time.  2-3 months after the procedure, the dentist will begin to place a crown or denture over the implanted root.  This part of the process will be contingent upon the quality and the patient’s jawbone thickness.  Completing a crown or a dental bridge will require 1 week to 1 month, depending on the complexity of each patient’s case.

Advantages of Computer Guided Implant Surgery

The most important advantage of computer guided implant surgery is that it enables the dentist to plan the implant accurately, reducing the surgery time as the location has already been determined.  This allows not only for a swifter procedure but also a minimal error in locating the implant position.  The patient can be properly informed of the surgery’s important facets beforehand.  For some patients whose bones are strong with sufficient density, the surgery can commence immediately or 1 week later.  Further, the process will help with the maintenance of the dental crown afterwards.  That is, after the crown has been placed, if it happens to break or slip off its base, the dentist will be able to reproduce a new one from the saved computer file without having to see the patient again.  This makes it convenient for the patient and saves a lot of time. 

Furthermore, a dental implant provides aesthetic as well as natural appearance because the implant’s size can be appropriately determined.  However, after the procedure, patients still need to take care of their teeth properly by brushing their teeth clean and using dental floss every time, avoiding biting on too hard substance (such as cartilages), and seeing the dentist every 3 or 6 months as scheduled.