A 3D cone-beam scan of the patient’s mouth is used to create virtual surgery, where models of the patient’s mouth and the 3D scans are overlayed to enable the surgeon to “perform” a simulated procedure. This information is used to create a computer-generated surgical guide to assist in the precise placement of the implants.

It is particularly helpful in cases where the margin of error is small, and where a free-handed approach may result in a negative outcome. A guided approach enables the surgeons to know the exact location of vital structures including nerves, tooth roots, bone and sinuses. Guided implant placement is also helpful in cases where all the teeth in the dental arch are missing and no other landmarks for orientation are present.

When implant placement procedures are precisely guided by a computer, this often results in less pain, swelling, bruising and discomfort following surgery. These procedures also frequently require smaller incisions, which results in a speedier healing process after surgery.