What Is Guided Implant Surgery?

Last updated on September 5th, 2023

Guided implant surgery is a modern way of traditional dental implant treatment. It is a real game-changer in dentistry due to its higher accuracy and lower risk of complications after surgery.

Since it is a relatively new method, patients want to know about guided dental implant technology. There are some common points that people are trying to learn. What is the procedure? What is the cost of guided implant technology? and more…

In this post, you will find clear explanations of the key issues related to guided implant surgery

What is Guided Implant Surgery?

Guided implant surgery refers to a modern dental procedure used to place dental implants in the jawbone to replace missing teeth. This approach utilizes advanced dental technology such as CBCT (3D cone beam computed tomography) to plan and perform the surgery with high precision.

Traditional Implant Surgery

What Is The Difference Between Guided Implant Surgery And Traditional Implant Surgery?

In traditional implant surgery, the dentist studies the patient’s oral anatomy through X-rays or CT scans. Then they place the implants into the jawbone at a depth and angle that they believe is the most appropriate. Only after the operation, the dentist can see if the positioning of the implant is good. Though dentists can reach an almost flawless success rate in many single dental implants, when it comes to multiple dental implants, they need guided dental implant surgery. This is because guided dental implants offer higher precision and success rates. Also, better precision coming with guided implant technology results in less invasive surgery. Hence, the recovery times are much shorter this way.

Why Should You Prefer A Guided Implant?

You should consider guided implant technology if you are suffering from multiple tooth loss or decay and want to have fresh white teeth through dental implants. The higher precision and shorter recovery time will make you more comfortable after the procedure. Also, if you have a sort of dental fear, this new technology might help you feel more confident before you sit on the dental engine.

Guided Implant Surgery

What Are The Steps Of Guided Implant Surgery?

Guided implant surgery involves some common steps. There might be slight differences in the process depending on your specific case, though. Here are the guided implant surgery steps.

  • Diagnostic Appointment
  • Visualizing The Problem
  • Surgical Guide
  • Implant Placement

Step-1 Diagnostic Appointment

As in all dental treatments, you need to see a dentist to define your problem clearly. It would be weird if you went to a dental clinic and said, “I would like to have a guided implant surgery”. So instead, a dental professional, or sometimes a group of dentists, should see your mouth case before moving forward with your case.

Step-2 Visualizing The Problem

A CT scan of your mouth is taken and examined by the dentist. Then, the images are sent to the dental laboratory, arranging the required implants and surgical kits.

Step-3 Surgical Guide

The lab and your dentist discuss possible surgical plans and agree on a final decision. Then the final plan (the guide) is sent to your dentist by the lab. This guide is tailored just for your very case.

Step-4 Implant Placement

Your dentist performs the guided implant surgery adhering to the guide compromised earlier.

What Are The Benefits of Guided Implant Surgery? 

Here are the benefits of guided implant surgery.

  • Great Accuracy
  • Decreased Pain and Discomfort
  • Higher Predictability
  • Customized Surgery
  • Faster Recovery 

Great Accuracy

It provides your dentist with better precision which, in turn, brings you a safer implant placement and restoration. Based on these findings in the study “A randomized clinical trial comparing guided implant surgery (bone- or mucosa-supported) with mental navigation or the use of a pilot-drill template” in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology by Vercruyssen et al. (2014), guided implant placement appears to offer clear accuracy benefits.

Decreased Pain and Discomfort

Guided Implant Surgery can help to reduce pain and discomfort in the immediate postoperative period according to a study about “Clinical advantages of computer-guided implant placement: a systematic review” at Clinical Oral Implants Research by Hultin et al. (2012). This is because the guide helps to ensure that the implant is placed in the correct position, which can minimize tissue damage and trauma. Additionally, the guide can help to prevent the implant from being placed too deep or too shallow, which can also lead to pain and discomfort.

Higher Predictability

The surgery allows your dentist to visualize each step of the surgery clearly, minimizing the risk of complications. So, you are safe during the surgery and recovery period.

Customized Surgery

Since guided dental implant surgery is designed for each patient, you can be sure about the exact implant placement and restoration tailored for your mouth anatomy.

Faster Recovery 

Thanks to 3D-guided surgery in implant dentistry, dental professionals are now able to see what is happening inside the gum and bone structures and do more precise work. Hence, the damage in the bone and gum tissue is smaller. In addition, being a relatively less invasive technique, the surgery takes less time to recover.

Traditional Implant Surgery

What Are The Drawbacks Of Traditional Implant Surgery?

The basic drawback of traditional implant surgery is the lack of a visual guide compared to the guided implant technology. This basic difference gives the dentist a big burden of responsibility in traditional implant surgeries. The dentist is supposed to make the clinical judgment based only on the casts and radiographs. Though it is not a big deal in single implant placement, when you think of an implant surgery involving multiple teeth, making judgments on each implant based on X-rays and keeping the harmony among the implants is really hard for a dentist.

What Is The Recovery Time For Guided Dental Implant Surgery?

The recovery time of a guided dental implant surgery takes 1-2 days. However, in some cases, you might need to see the dentist for a second time to get your crowns since it is not always possible to place the crown on the implant on the same day.

How Long Does Implant Placement Take in Guided Implant Surgery?

One dental implant placement takes around 15-20 mins using guided implant surgery.

Does Guided Implant Surgery Hurt?

It is a pain-free procedure thanks to sedation and local anesthetics given to the patients before the surgery. It is, however, still possible to feel a little bit of pressure on your jaw.

Do You Have Stitches After Guided Implant Surgery?

No, You won’t need sutures or stitches after the operation, since the gum tissue is not cut during the surgery.

What Is The Cost Of Guided Implant Surgery?

The cost of guided implant surgery is normally higher than a traditional implant procedure since the clinics generally outsource the surgical guide service to specially equipped imaging labs. Also, the implant brand is another factor in the prices. Therefore, using some brands like Straumann might be a bit pricier.

Guided Implant Surgery Abroad

Before thinking about going abroad to get guided surgery for implant therapy, you should consider the idea in two phases. Phase-1 is your need for getting the surgery. For example, if you are suffering from tooth loss, tooth pain, or lack of self-esteem due to your smile, you might be a good candidate for dental implant treatment

Phase-2 is about going abroad. You should think critically. Millions of people can get implant treatment in many parts of the world. Some prefer to travel miles away to get the same treatment. Saving money is probably the biggest motivation.

On the other hand, some people argue that low-cost countries cannot offer high-quality dental services. Actually, some low-cost countries such as Turkey can offer you even better standards than your home country. So, going overseas for a guided implant surgery may be pretty advantageous considering the service quality and the attractive costs together. 
You can read the “Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Dental Clinic Abroad” blog post for more information.

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