10 Ways Technology Has Made Tooth Implant Surgery Better
Dental implant surgery has never been as safe and pain-free.
Did you know that we’ve been using dental implants for more than 4000 years? We’ve come a long way since those first carved bamboo pegs were used to replace missing teeth.
Technological innovation has helped tooth implant surgery to continue to evolve, with new developments happening all the time. Read on as we take a look at 10 ways that technology has made tooth implant surgery even better.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are titanium screws inserted into the jaw bone. Titanium is a high-strength metal that is highly resistant to corrosion—as you can see, implant technology has come a long way since those first bamboo pegs. The titanium screws replace the root of the tooth and are able to support one or more dental crowns.
What are dental crowns?
Dental crowns are permanent covers that are used to envelop damaged teeth. The damaged tooth is filed down to support the crown, which gives it the appearance of a natural tooth.
In dental implants, an entire replacement tooth is fitted to the titanium screw, which will perfectly match the replaced tooth. This means that dental implants look and feel just like your old tooth.
How has technology made tooth implant surgery better?
New methods and innovations are constantly being developed. Some of the technical advances that have improved tooth implant surgery are listed below.
1. Intraoral Cameras
One challenge that dentists face with all dental procedures, whether it’s a dental crown or root canal surgery, is that it’s difficult to get a really clear view inside the mouth.
Intraoral cameras are usually shaped like a pen and allow your dentist to see high-resolution images from inside your mouth in real-time. It’s like having a GoPro specifically for your mouth. Having a better view of your mouth can help to make dental implant surgery more accurate.
2. 3D Scanning
We’re all used to the idea of scanning a two-dimensional object like a document or photograph, but did you know it’s possible to scan in three dimensions, too?
3D scanners are able to accurately scan objects in three dimensions to create a precise 3D model. This technology has a wide range of uses, including the design of orthotics to perfectly fit the shape of someone’s foot or other body part. The same technology allows dentists to create a perfect model of a patient’s mouth and teeth.
3. 3D Printing
Once you have a 3D model of someone’s tooth, you still need a way to replicate it. That’s where 3D printing comes in. 3D printing works by building up layers of material to create a perfect 3D replica of the 3D model. It can be used to create a dental implant or crown that exactly matches the existing tooth. Dental implants created this way can be virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
CAD-CAM stands for computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing. This technology has been around for some time but is constantly developing and improving. It allows you to create a 3D design in computer software, and then have machines build that 3D design for you.
CAD-CAM is used in a wide variety of fields, but in dentistry it means that you can design the perfect implant for a patient’s needs, and then turn that design into reality.
5. Antibacterial Coating
If a dental implant becomes infected, it can cause the implant to fail, meaning that it needs to be replaced.
To combat this, dental implants can now have an antibacterial coating applied to them. This coating fights off any potential infections around the implant, meaning an even higher success rate for dental implants that use this technology.
6. Digital Impressions
The traditional method of taking an impression of teeth is to get the patient to bite down into a material (usually some sort of uncomfortable putty) that then holds the impression of the patient’s teeth. Thanks to the power of intraoral cameras and 3D scanning, it is now possible to take a completely digital impression. This is a 3D model of the patient’s teeth that doesn’t require any physical medium. Benefits of this method include:
- Less time in the dentist’s chair for the patient.
- Improved impression accuracy for better fitting implants.
- A more comfortable experience for the patient.
- A digital impression that can be stored indefinitely.
7. Digital X-Rays
X-rays are a vital part of dentistry work. Just as digital images have replaced film, digital X-rays allow dentists to take and store an X-ray without the need for any physical cassette. Digital X-rays can also reduce the radiation dose required for your X-rays meaning they are safer and more efficient that traditional X-rays.
8. Digital CT Imaging
CT imaging stands for computed tomography. It is the same technology used in medical CT scanners; it uses multiple X-rays to build up a 3D image. Using digital CT images, a dentist can build up a detailed 3D image of the jaw and teeth, allowing the creation of dental implants that are a perfect fit.
9. Cosmetic Imaging
Do you wish you could see what you will look like once your dental implant surgery is complete? Cosmetic imaging allows you to do just that. It uses digital image editing to create a mock-up of what the patient will look like once the procedure has been completed. It’s a great way to show patients the benefits of procedures such as dental implant surgery before they have them.
Anesthetics are a vital part of dental treatment, allowing patients to undergo treatments without experiencing any pain. One downside of anesthetics is that their effects can last beyond the completion of the procedure, meaning that the patient is still numb even after they have left the dental practice.
Oraverse is an anesthetic reversal agent that can halve the amount of time it takes for a patient to return to normal sensation. This means that you don’t need to worry about how long it will take for the numbness to wear off following a dental procedure.
Are you ready for tooth implant surgery?
As you can see, advances in technology have made tooth implant surgery easier, more accurate, and more comfortable for both patients and dentists.
There’s never been a better time to get a tooth implant. Not only do dental implants look and feel like your own teeth and offer a high level of durability, but they can also help to improve your oral health since nearby teeth are not altered in any way.
If you’re thinking about dental implants, then we are here for you. Schedule an appointment today.