Using digital dentistry for implant treatments

Digital workflows
Over the years, dental implant treatment has rapidly evolved and continues to do so. The rapid advancements in chairside production of dental prosthesis like crowns and bridges along with digital scanning have changed the way dental implant treatment is planned and executed.
Traditionally, dental implant planning involves taking moulds of the patient’s teeth which were then used to fabricate gypsum models. These gypsum models are then used to create hand-carved replicas of the teeth to be replaced using dental implants. This is a labour-intensive process as you can imagine and is difficult to reproduce due to its manual nature.
We started using digital workflows to eliminate this labour intensive process and to achieve a more accurate and reproducible way of doing things. At the consultation, an intraoral digital scan is taken of your teeth alongside a CBCT scan. These two sets of digital information are merged to give us a 3d model of the patient’s teeth gums and underlying bone. We can then digitally create the teeth to be replaced and plan the intended implant position(s). All this information can then be used to create a surgical guide that is 3d printed and allows us to place the implant(s) in the same position as planned in the virtual 3d model.
When the implant(s) are ready to be connected to the final teeth, we scan the implants using our intraoral scanner. This eliminates the need for gooey impressions. This scan is then used to digitally design the crown. This digital crown design is used to mill the final crown. This method allows very accurate reproduction of the intended implant position and crown.
Digital workflows have definitely changed how we plan and provide implant dentistry. We routinely use the virtual simulations to show patients, the intended implant plan. We use cutting edge technology from leading providers such as Carestream, 3shape, Medit, Exocad, Imes Icore and Formlabs to deliver these workflows.