Guided surgery for the placement of implants has several advantages and disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is the risk of errors. Improperly fabricated guides may fail due to several factors, including poor bone quality, thick mucosa, tissue inflation from local anesthesia, or instability of the guide. In these cases, clinicians should change the surgical plan to a freehand or flap approach. There are several other limitations to guided surgery systems, including their field of view, image resolution, image segmentation, and type of tissue support.
Study on Computer-Guided Implant Surgery
A new study shows that computer-guided implant placement can improve the placement of dental implants by as much as 30%. In the study, implant diameter was measured, and then the 3D deviation at the platform and angular deviation were calculated. The results were statistically significant. This technology is an excellent option for immediate restorations, aesthetic cases, and minimally invasive surgeries. It also offers the benefit of decreasing the number of preoperative steps. Future developments may include implementing 3D printing and optical scans, making the process even simpler.
With computer-guided implant surgery, dentists can be sure that implants are placed precisely without affecting vital anatomical structures. Moreover, it can reduce unexpected events during surgery. The procedure also requires less time than conventional surgery.
Complications of Guided Surgery
Guided surgery for implant placement is a safer alternative than freehand surgery, but it has its limitations. In some cases, guided surgery may not be advisable, especially when the implants are close to anatomical structures. Therefore, surgeons should carefully assess their patients’ anatomical structures before surgery.
The technique is safer when the patient is healthy and has sufficient bone width and attached gingiva. This method is also more accurate than traditional flap surgery. However, the technique can lead to complications in patients with poor bone quality. Therefore, future studies should focus on developing techniques for guided surgery in these patients.
During guided surgery for implant placement, doctors must be very careful to ensure that the implant is in the right place. Even with an accurate guide, slight placement errors can occur. For example, the metal sleeve may accidentally drop out during implant placement. This happened in case 3 and was reattached afterward. Surgical guides can also malfunction because they are not attached securely.
Costs of Guided Surgery
Guided surgery for implant placement can be costly. However, many patients find the benefits outweigh the costs. The procedure is faster, less invasive, and more predictable. The 3D digital guide helps the surgeon to place the implant precisely where it needs to be. The guide can be costly, costing anywhere from $300 to $400.
Costs vary depending on the type of required bone graft and the extent of the damage to the jawbone. A simple synthetic bone graft can cost $300 to $800 per implant area, and using a patient’s bone can be more expensive, requiring a hospital stay. A bone graft using the patient’s bone costs around $3,500. Additionally, patients may have to undergo screening procedures that can cost another $250 to $1,000.
Besides reducing the risk of surgical errors, the guided technique has other benefits. The implant surgeon can place the implant more accurately, resulting in more successful screw-retained restorations. It also saves the surgeon a significant amount of time. Lastly, a patient does not have to experience pain during the implant placement procedure. During the procedure, local or general anesthesia is used.