Advances in dental technology make implants safer than ever | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Advances in dental technology make implants safer than ever

Dental implants have a long, successful history of replacing missing teeth. For decades, dental surgeons have placed implants and achieved good results. New advances in dental technology take those results from good to great!

How Dental Implants Work

Dental implants have revolutionized dentistry by creating a replacement for missing teeth that is as close to a natural tooth as possible. Implants are the only tooth replacement that recreates the tooth's root. All other forms of tooth replacement only rebuild the visible part of a tooth.

Without a connection to the bone, these other dental options require support from neighboring teeth, which usually causes damage to those teeth over time. For this reason, teeth used to support replacement teeth typically suffer a shortened life span.

Dental implants are anchored in the jaw bone. This root system provides the most natural looking tooth replacement and functions as well as a real tooth. Dental implants can replace a single missing teeth, multiple missing teeth, or even a mouth with no teeth.

The Most Important Factor in Implant Success

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In order for implants to be successful long-term, the surgeon must place them in the correct position in the jawbone. When implants are in the correct position, they have the most stable cosmetic and functional outcome over their lifetime.

Research has shown that this outcome of looking beautiful and working well is most likely to happen only when the implant is in the most ideal three-dimensional location in the bone.

This means the implant must be in the best position left-to-right, front-to-back, and top-to-bottom. It also must be completely enclosed by bone.

How Advanced Technology Improves Surgical Success

The goal of technology as it applies to an existing surgical procedure is to make that procedure more predictable and more efficient.

More Predictable

As a surgical procedure becomes more predictable, success rates improve. There are less risks for complications and failure. The results of the procedure look and feel as natural as possible.

More Efficient

Let's face it: no one wants to spend more time in an oral surgeon's office. Efficiency is not just about getting you out of the chair more quickly. A more efficient surgical procedure actually leads to less post-operative pain and faster healing.

Dental Technology to Achieve Implant Success

Although success rates were relatively high when dental implants first came to popularity, implant placement was not an exact science. As new technologies emerged, the accuracy of positioning an implant improved. Placing an implant in a precise three-dimensional position has always required extensive pre-operative planning.

For years, surgeons have used three-dimensional images called Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) to measure the jaw bone in the site where they plan to place a dental implant. These 3-D images allow surgeons to answer questions about what size implants to use and where they should place them.

Oral surgeons have also used surgical templates or guides. Surgical guides have been the gold standard for implant placement for many years because they traditionally provided the most predictable way to place the implant in the best position as prescribed by our pre-operative planning … until now.

The Latest in Implant Placement Technology

We are committed to offering our patients the very latest in dental technology because we are committed to your safety, comfort, and long-term success. The latest in implant placement technology is three-dimensional navigated surgery, and we have it!

Using the 3-D technology of CBCT, the new X-Guide Navigation system offers the most exact implant placement available today. Studies have shown that implant positioning with X-Guide Navigation is 11 times more accurate than that of freehand placement.

This 3-D navigation is similar to the technology successfully used in medical neurosurgery for many years. It directs the surgeon's every movement, down to fractions of a millimeter. This precise guidance puts each implant into the exact position for optimal appearance and function.

Another advantage of this navigation system is it allows for same-day surgeries. Rather than waiting several weeks for communication with a dental lab or fabrication of a surgical guide, three-dimensional navigation is available immediately.

Not only is the actual surgery shorter, this technology saves weeks or even months in the overall implant process.

How This Implant Technology Benefits Patients

If you have questions or concerns about replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant, this three-dimensional navigation has all of the answers. The many benefits of navigation-guided implant surgery include:

Fewer dental appointments

Shorter surgical procedure

Greatest precision in implant position

Smaller incision or surgical site

Less post-operative pain and swelling

Faster healing

Better cosmetic results

Better chewing ability

Highest long-term success rate

With three-dimensional navigation, dental implant patients can have complete peace of mind in addition to the benefits listed above. Never before has oral surgery been safer or more accurate.

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About the Author

Drs. Dan Martin and Rachel Appelblatt at Tahoe Oral Surgery and Implant Center are your local dental implant and oral surgery specialists. They are experienced and board certified oral surgeons who specialize in customer care using state-of-the art equipment and techniques. If you have any questions or concerns about oral surgery or dental implants, please don’t hesitate to contact them at TahoeOralSurgery.com.