Real-Time Dentistry: Effective Implant Planning with Three-Dimensional Scans.

Implant dentistry has evolved significantly with more predictable outcomes within the last twenty years, as most dentistry has. During those twenty years, we have seen many an implant at Austin Smile Creations, and many patients have sought Dr. Gotun’s expertise for many a reason. Typical scenarios we encounter are patients who have had teeth extracted 20+ years ago, have lost significant bone throughout those years of wear and tear, and are now ready for a solution to their missing tooth problem. We have patients who have failed implants where we are able to salvage the implant or place a new one, rebuild bone and soft tissue where it’s lost, and recreate a healthy functional bite. We also have patients who have lost most of their chewing capacity and are unable to taste food due to having dentures. Luckily, implants have proven to be a sustainable option for those patients. Whatever the situation, even the direst, we find a solution, which is why many patients pursue us. It’s the beauty of advanced, quality dentistry that our team offers.

It seems simple to our patients, but implant dentistry requires accurate diagnostics and significant planning to deliver the seemingly simple and painless to our patients. Nowadays, we are able to virtually plan implants from computed three dimensional images- called a CBCT scan (cone beam computed tomography)- that reconstruct the bony anatomy of a patient’s head in digital form, as seen below.

What kind of information do we then get from this specific scan? When we import the scan into an implant planning software, we can measure to exact units the quality of bone and how much bone a patient currently has, how far an implant will be from other anatomical structures, and abnormalities. With this information, in exact measurements, Dr. Gotun can determine the size of implant or if an implant can even be planned at that time. Information is more readily available with more certainty, which facilitates our conversations between patients about bone regeneration, sinus lifts, augmentations, allowing our patients to make an informed decision about how far they want to go and what they desire for a result. In other words, we ask and address the tough questions and concerns with precise information.

On the other hand, when implants are straightforward for our patients, Dr. Gotun virtually plans the placement, angulation and size of the implant on the software aforementioned. A surgical guide is fabricated for the exact placement of the implant, and surgery is scheduled. Illustrated implant planning can be seen below.

Essentially, everything comes back to our philosophy in our practice. And when planning implants (as with all dentistry), you can eliminate guesswork through proper planning from the most accurate diagnostics, plan success for treatment, eliminate failure, facilitate solutions to longstanding problems, and provide flawless results for your patients. In our practice, it’s this thoroughness that has always paid off.