A dental implant surgical guide is a rigid device, designed with precisely drilled holes that guide the surgeons implant drill into the bone at the most ideal position for bone support and the final dental restoration position as it relates to function and esthetics. It is stabilized by the teeth and or gums next to a planned dental implant site. Do you really need it? The simple answer is not always. There are a number of factors that need to be considered. Who is placing the dental implant? Who is restoring the dental implant? How many missing teeth are being replaced? How much bone is present? Numerous other factors need to be considered on a case by case basis.
Some Reasons A Surgical Guide May Not Be Necessary
- Dental implant surgery is being performed that the dentist that is restoring the dental implant. i.e. Making the crown that will go on the dental implant.
- A single tooth dental implant with teeth on both sides to serve as a guide.
- An immediate dental implant where the extraction socket serves as a guide.
- Dental implants placed as anchors for a denture – the denture is present.
- Temporary dental implants which will be removed after a short period of time.
Some reasons a surgical guide is necessary
- If the dentist placing the implant is different that the dentist restoring the implant – the implant dentist needs to know where the final crown needs to be.
- Bone quantity or quality is in question – a computer fabricated surgical guide may be indicated in this case using data collected from a 3D X-ray.
- Multiple teeth are being replaced by dental implants.
- Mandibular nerve is close to the proposed dental implant site.
- Dental implants placed in the esthetic zone – front teeth that show when smiling.
- Dental implants replacing the last tooth back in the mouth.