Surgical guides are custom-fitted oral appliances used in implant placement for more predictable results. Dr. Deborah K. Ruprecht uses these technology-enabled templates when precise implant placement is needed. If you would like to learn more about our dental technology in Mission Viejo, California, please contact us today at 949-472-5499 for a visit.
How are surgical guides created?
Step 1: Taking digital images
The patient may have digital images or impressions taken either at the dental office or with a mobile service at the patient’s home or workplace. The usual type of imaging, cone-beam computed tomography or CBCT, produces three-dimensional views of the patient’s teeth, gums and bone structures.
Step 2: Creating a model for new restorations
For multiple-tooth implants, dental imaging or impressions enable a model of the upper and lower teeth to be created that is blended with the patient’s digital images for the surgical guide.
Step 3: Creating the surgical guide
Technicians at a dental laboratory will use the patient’s 3D images (and model, if needed) to create a surgical guide or stent that matches the patient’s mouth exactly. Dr. Ruprecht uses this mouthpiece to plan the procedure and to guide the surgery for more predictable and effective results.
When are surgical guides used?
Single-tooth implant and esthetic zone
A surgical guide helps a surgeon like Dr. Ruprecht place an implant in a precise angle and depth in the esthetic zone. This a critical step that guides the implant in the proper position for a restoration that looks and feels like a natural tooth.
The surgical guide is essential when placing multiple implants in areas where consecutive teeth are missing. With digital imaging and the surgical guide, Dr. Ruprecht does extensive planning with the restorative dentist. This surgical treatment planning results in precise implant placement with adequate distancing and depth so that a patient’s new smile looks and functions properly over many years to come.
Esthetic crown lengthening
In some cases, Dr. Ruprecht creates a surgical guide to improve a gummy or uneven smile. This type of surgery guide follows comprehensive planning using a model for a patient’s esthetic plan. After the patient sees how their finished smile will appear and approves the plan, Dr. Ruprecht and the restorative dentist work with a dental laboratory to fabricate the guide. The surgical guide is a blueprint for the surgeon and a critical tool in achieving the desired results for a beautiful and natural looking smile.
Why it’s important
Surgical guides are used to improve the accuracy of surgical results, and research supports better patient outcomes due to guided surgery. Both the patient and the surgeon enjoy the peace of mind that surgery will be performed according to a comprehensive plan that leads to predictable results.