Dental technologies like 3D printing is part of the new world of technologies in dental offices. In 2023 US 17% of US dentist are using 3D printers and 27% are using CAD/CAM technologies to make crowns and other dental appliances during patient visits. Today 3D printers are being used at Great Boca Smiles in Boca Raton, Florida, to fabricate dental models, night guards, clear aligners, implant guides and crowns. Dental implant surgical guides and surgical stents are used by dentists to place dental implants accurately. The use of a cone beam radiograph or cat scan (open and stand up so there is no claustrophobic feeling) combined with a digital model of the patients teeth is used in combination with virtual planning software. The digital models of the patients teeth are obtained by either a CEREC Scanner or Itero Scanner at Great Boca Smiles. Dr. Alan Markowitz and his team are trained to use these devices for accurate results. These digital scanners eliminate the messy impression materials that so many patients have trouble with due to gag reflex and fear of not being able to breath or swallow. The result is a 3D printed plastic or pmma guide with a special sleeve that the dentist uses to accurately place an implant into the patients jaw. Using virtual planning allows the dentist to place the implant in the best location in the jaw bone.
Many dentists use dental labs to manufacture implant surgical guides, this process takes time because a dental lab technician is designing a guide and the dentist has to follow up and approve the device before it is printed. The final product is then mailed to the dental office or the design is emailed at which point the surgical guide has to be fabricated. At Great Boca Smiles, Dr. Alan Markowitz will design and print the implant surgical guide on site at the Great Boca Smiles dental practice. The best part is that the 3D printed implant guide can be ready within hours or the same day instead of days. This not only provides the most accurate surgical placement of the dental implant, it is most convenient for patients with busy schedules.
The advantages of an implant surgical guide is that it decreases post operative morbidity or pain. The Doctor is able to work through a hole the size of a paper punch eliminating incisions and sutures in most cases and the patient spends less time in the chair. This helps to eliminate pain and swelling after the procedure and allows most patients to remain active after treatment. The implant is placed in the best possible location surrounding by the greatest amount of supporting bone and gingiva or soft tissues. This very important fact increases the longevity of the dental implant by lowering the incidence of bone loss and periodontal disease especially in patients with diabetes, osteoporosis and osteopenia or other medical conditions. Implant 3D planning also guarantees that the implant will be in the most cosmetic or dental esthetic location especially when it is in the front of the mouth (facial or anterior areas of the mouth) also known as the esthetic zone. This critical zone is so important, if the implant emerges from the gingiva (gums) in the wrong direction it will never look right, either the tooth will look too long, too short or metal will be exposed. Dr. Alan Markowitz says that virtual planning is like a time machine, being able seeing the future results before the surgery, the planning softwares can simulate gingiva (gums) and bone heights so we know in advance that we will get the very best results for our patients. Virtual dental implant planning and dental implant surgical guides also eliminate cement retained restorations for screw retained implant crowns. Eliminating cement retained restorations also eliminates implant disease and failure caused by excess cement not being cleaned off the undersides of the crowns and bridges. Sometimes it can be difficult to find all of the excess cement because it is hidden under the gingiva (gum tissues) or the implant parts. Screw retained dental implant crowns have a small access hole in the top of the crown or behind the crown that allows the dentist to place the restoration without any clean up, pain or bleeding.
At the office of Great Boca Smiles, Dr. Alan Markowitz, and his team use the most advanced techniques and technology to provide predicable, beautiful and pain free results. The Great Boca Smiles team is knowledgeable and can readily explain these great technologies that our patients enjoy every day.Please come and visit us to see this wonderful technology and dental advances at Great Boca Smiles.