Virtual Surgical Planning
One of the most exciting things we’ve added to our clinic in the last several years is virtual surgical planning for dental implant placement. In the past, the skill and experience level of the surgeon placing the implant was the greatest factor for successful implant placement. With the integration of 3D Facial Imaging with our Carestream 9600 and our Intraoral Scanning technology, Dr. Culley can import both of those data sets into a CAD-CAM program that lets him design your tooth replacements for optimal esthetics and occlusion. From there, he works backward finding the absolute optimal bone position to support your implants. He can select the perfect angles and optimize the length and width to ideal proportions while avoiding any and all anatomic structures that need to be avoided.
Dr. Culley can have a meeting virtually with your restorative doctor so he can see the exact set up of teeth and surgical plan by sharing his screen in TeamViewer. Any changes can be made at that time. When the plan is agreed upon, the software designs a surgical guide that will replicate the plan to within nanometers of accuracy. The surgical guide is then exported to our 3D dental lab that we have on site and from there, it is printed and await your surgery date. Here are two of our 3D printers made by SprintRay, a leader in dental 3D printing. You also see part of my team practicing on how to obtain the best and quickest intramural images possible at our Jackson office.
Although Dr. Culley has been successfully placing dental implants for over 25 years, he feels that this helps remove operator error. The position and angle Dr. Culley would select would work, but there are limitations that he cannot anticipate. His skill and experience as a surgeon could help him through those limitations, but this combines the best of surgical skill and technology. The surgical guide helps in multiple ways:
- Virtual planning helps eliminate unknown variables during surgery
- Perfect implant angles can be selected for optimal restoration and esthetics
- Implant size can be pre-selected which will allow for the greatest stability
- The prosthetics are visible and their relation to the implants is already known
- Both the surgeon and restorative doctor can approve the plan before surgery
- Vital structures such as nerves, blood vessels and sinuses can be safely avoided
- Actual placement surgery is quicker and less invasive which reduces post operative swelling and pain, and it also reduces the risk of post-operative infection.
- Improves the chances the implant can be handled as a single stage procedure rather than a 2-stage procedure.