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Computerized Tooth Implantation

Dental implants are a widely used, accepted method of filling in missing teeth, constituting the cutting edge of modern dentistry. The success of the treatment is dependent upon a combination of understanding the anatomic structure of the jaw, the ability to insert the implants and the desired final rehabilitation result. It is not enough to simply insert the implants into the jawbone; it is also important to assess whether they will fulfill the objective of the desired rehabilitation (details such as the length of the implant, its width, location and the angle of the insertion must be considered).

In the past, dentists depended on the patient’s clinical examination to plan the treatment procedure, as well as evaluation using two-dimensional x-ray images, such as panoramic x-rays. The success of the treatment was primarily dependent on the dentist’s ability, and the human factor was the most decisive element. Over the years, the imaging equipment underwent changes, and the implanting dentist was able to utilize the CT scan. The CT scan allows the dentist to scan the patient’s jaw and produce an image similar to the layers of an onion – upgrading the image to three-dimensional. The thickness of each layer, or slice, can be changed, and in this way, the entire anatomical structure of the jawbone can be “seen” and proper care can be taken during the procedure (for example, it shows the nerve canal passing through the lower jawbone or the sinuses in the upper jawbone, the thickness of the bone, the bone density, and more). This information is of vital importance and has advanced implant treatments greatly. However, at this stage, the planning and execution of the implants was still dependent on the dentist and his skills.

Recently, a significant leap has taken place in dental implantation – computerized dental implantation. It is now possible to utilize, along with the advanced imaging methods, a computerized system which will assist both in the planning and operational stages.

How does the computerized implantation process take place?

After a clinical examination, preliminary data collection and decision regarding the desired rehabilitation style, the patient’s jaws are measured. At the dental laboratory, the teeth are planned and positioned in the desired places from a rehabilitative perspective. This plastic model is checked inside the patient’s mouth, and after seeing that this option is applicable, the patient is sent for a CT scan. The advantage this time is that the patient will undergo the CT scan with the desired model for the final rehabilitation in his mouth. The material from which the model is made will enable us to see the planned teeth in relation to the jaw’s anatomic structure. This information is transferred to a specialized computer program which takes all of the layers of the CT scans and builds a three-dimensional model of the jaw. At this stage, the dentist can use the software to plan exactly where to position the implants, to what depth to penetrate, and at which angle, in order to match the chosen rehabilitation style. At the end of the planning process, a “surgical splint” is prepared at the laboratory – a plastic retainer with holes in the exact location and at the exact angle for the implants. All that remains for the dentist to do is to insert the splint in the mouth, drill where the holes are positioned, and insert the implants.

Advantages of the computerized implant method:

  1. More exact planning ensures better results.
  2. In many cases, the implant insertion process will be performed without any preliminary surgical procedure to the gums – meaning, without opening up the gums. This lessens the pain and makes the recuperation process quicker.
  3. Less human error.
Computerized Tooth Implantation - dr Jerry Kohens Clinic
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