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Freehand vs. Guided Dental Implants: Understanding the Difference

June 4, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — drtubo @ 10:28 pm
guided dental implant surgery

The decision to get dental implants has the potential to change your life in numerous beneficial ways. Before you can enjoy the advantages of a restored smile, however, you will have to undergo dental implant surgery. Different dentists and specialists employ a variety of tools and techniques to accomplish this procedure. You have the opportunity to choose between freehand or guided dental implant surgery in Whitinsville. Which is better? Read on to find out from your dentist.

Guided Implant Surgery

Guided dental implant surgery involves a highly detailed planning process. It requires the use of a CBCT scanner (aka cone beam scanner) which captures three-dimensional images of your teeth, jawbone, and other oral structures. A dental laboratory uses the CBCT scans and communicates with your dental implant dentist in Whitinsville to create a custom surgical guide.

The guide is then used during surgery. It helps the doctor who is performing your surgery ensure your implants are placed at the correct location, depth, and angle. Guided surgery may allow patients to enjoy a shortened healing time and an extremely low risk of complications.

The only real downside to guided implant surgery it may make your total treatment time a bit longer and add to your overall costs. However, most patients would agree that the benefits of guided surgery make it worth the time and money.

Freehand Surgery

The term “freehand” might be a little misleading. A dentist who uses this technique will still carefully plan your surgery with X-rays and perhaps CBCT scans. However, they will not go back and forth with a laboratory to create a precise guide for use during the procedure.

Before CBCT scanners and guided surgery techniques became popular, freehand dental implant placement was the norm. It has a success rate of over 95 percent, and freehand techniques are still widely used. This is especially true of cases where just one dental implant is being placed and the risks of surgical complications are low to begin with.

Which Is Better for You?

A study published in 2018 compared treatment results from 20 dental implant patients. Half of them underwent computer-guided surgery, and half underwent freehand surgery. All the patients were happy with the way their implants looked and functioned. However, two dental implant failures occurred in the freehand group while none occurred in the guided group.

While freehand surgery isn’t necessarily “bad,” it undeniably carries a higher risk than guided dental implant surgery in Whitinsville. It may be especially wise to seek guided surgery if you are having multiple implants placed or there are other factors present that make your case somewhat complex. The doctor who will perform your surgery will be happy to help you compare your treatment options.

About the Author

Dr. Jason Tubo earned his dental doctorate from the University of Connecticut. He attained Fellowship with the American Dental Implant Association in 2010 and then Mastership with the Academy of General Dentistry in 2017. If you are interested in dental implants in Whitinsville, Dr. Tubo offers guided dental implant surgery. Schedule a consultation on his website or call (508) 234-8107.

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