Surgical guides are custom oral appliances that fit over your teeth for placing dental implants with greater precision. The surgical guide is an important step in the planning process as it provides a template for a more predictable result in the direction and depth of the implant. A well-placed implant requires detailed planning to meet the requirements of a healthy implant and functional, esthetic crown for the long term. Dr. Deborah K. Ruprecht routinely uses computer-generated surgical guides when placing implants.
What are the steps in making a surgical guide?
Step 1: Cone beam CBCT scan
First, we take a 3D digital scan that outlines your bone, teeth and surrounding structures in detailed color images. The cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scan is the key platform for treatment planning the position of your implants.
Step 2: Digital impression and virtual model
Next, we take a virtual scan taken inside your mouth to create a map of your teeth and hard and soft tissues, which generates a computer-generated virtual model of these structures. Instead of using trays filled with impression material, we take your digital impressions at the dental office or with a mobile service at the convenience of your home or workplace. Digital impressions are superior in accuracy, comfort and convenience.
Step 3: Creating the computer-generated surgical guide
Finally, technicians at a dental laboratory receive the digital files of the CBCT scan and the digital impression to create your custom surgical guide. Using specialized software to plan your case and create the surgical guide, Dr. Ruprecht and the lab technician work together to create an accurate guide for precise placement of your implants.
Why it’s important
Surgical guides improve the accuracy of surgical results, and research supports better patient outcomes due to guided surgery. The patient and the surgeon enjoy the peace of mind that surgery will be performed according to a comprehensive plan with greater predictability of long-lasting implants and beautiful teeth that look and feel natural.
If you would like to learn more about how Dr. Ruprecht uses dental technology in Mission Viejo, Ladera Ranch and Solana Beach, California, please contact us today.