Dental Implants

Of all the options for restoring missing or damaged teeth, dental implants are considered by many to be the best. A dental implant is a small piece of titanium metal, similar to a screw, that fuses with the jawbone to create a strong anchor for a crown or denture. They have proven to be more effective and durable than fixed bridges or removable dentures.

In traditional dental implant surgery, an oral surgeon cuts back a patient's gums to expose the underlying bone and guide the drill for placement. In most cases, the patient must then wait four to six months for their mouth to heal before the restoration can be completed.

However, a less invasive and more precise alternative has recently been developed that utilizes CAT scans and three-dimensional virtual placement using computer models.

First, the patient gets a medical CAT scan of their mouth that produces a three dimensional model of the bone. We view this model using special computer software, allowing us to determine with certainty where the bone is sufficient to place implants. (1)

We then decide exactly where we want each implant placed, and a unique computer-generated surgical guide (2) is produced for the oral surgeon to use when installing the implants.

During the surgery, this guide is secured to the patient's jaw, allowing the surgeon to place each implant precisely where we want it, accurate to within a half-millimeter.

In most cases, after the oral surgeon has finished placing all the implants and the guide is removed, the individual teeth or implanted denture (3) can be loaded immediately, eliminating the four- to six-month waiting period required in the traditional implant procedure, and because the surgeon is not slicing open the gums, much of the pain is eliminated as well.