Conventionally, the implants are placed in the jaw bone in patient’s mouth involving a minor surgery, a healing time of 7-10 days followed by suture removal .Then the patient waits for 3 to 4 months so that the implant integrates with the jaw bone. This is followed by restoration. But the implantologist of today is now able to virtually analyse and plan a surgery before actually performing it in the patient’s mouth . This concept is called Computer Aided / Computer Guided Implant Placement. ( CAD/CAM Solution). CAD software helps the dentist to carry out a virtual surgery on the patient’s simulated jaw on the computer . CAM helps to create a surgical template to perform the surgery in the patient’s mouth as per planning on the software.
The procedure offers many advantages:
The guided surgery planned on the computer is more precise in placement of implants as it provides better visualization of important anatomic structures.
The future prosthesis (temporary/permanent bridge) is simulated in the mouth with the help of surgical template in advance. It is time saving as the patient receives the implant and the prosthesis on the same day and can returned to active social life.
It has better patient compliance because surgery does not involve any incision or suturing and so there is no bleeding, faster healing, minimum discomfort,minimal risk of infection and early ambulation.
It can be safely performed in high risk patients such as those with coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertention, patients on drugs like antiplatelets, anticoagulants, advanced age etc.
Because of lack of awareness about importance of oral hygiene and need for regular dental check ups, most of the Indians start loosing their teeth as early as 35 years in urban population and even at 20 years in rural population. So, by 55-60 years, 15-20% of the population is edentulous. Since the average life span of Indians has increased by 10 years, so is the need for fixed and permanent solution for missing teeth.
The technology of computer guided surgery is the latest advancement in the field of dental implants. Since it is a non invasive procedure, it reduces the risk of infection to minimum. The success rate is high and so is the cost. But cost benefit analysis proves beyond doubt that implants for missing teeth will remain the best treatment option today and tomorrow.
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