At most dental offices across the country, dental implants are complicated. There is a myriad of factors that go into the success (or failure) of implants, including materials, digital planning, anesthesia, prosthodontics, and, perhaps most importantly whether or not they’re guided. If you’re in the market for dental implants, you need to be on the lookout for doctors who place guided implants. Why? The rationale is surprisingly simple.
When a doctor says they’re placing “guided” implants, they’re referring to a physical guide that they place inside the patient’s mouth during surgery. A dental lab makes the custom guides using scans and x-rays that the doctor gets from the patient. The guide fits over the patient’s remaining teeth (or gums) and has a small hole in the location where the doctor should place the implant. For a dental implant to be successful, it needs to fuse with the patient’s bone which is why the guide is so necessary. It makes placing implants an exact science instead of a guessing game. If a doctor places an implant without a guide, they’re hoping that the implant is going into the jaw at the right angle and the right depth but there’s no way for them to be sure. The guide ensures that the implant is where it needs to be in order for it to be successful.
When a doctor doesn’t use guided implants and places an implant “blindly”, the implant typically has a much higher rate of failure. The implant may struggle to bond with the bone because there isn’t enough bone in the area it was placed. Rejection can occur months or years after a patient gets an implant. We frequently have patients who think dental implants are only supposed to last a few years, but that’s far from the truth. Guided implants should last a lifetime if they’re made of quality materials.
Guided implants are usually more expensive than non-guided implants. They involve additional steps like digital planning and lab fees that non-guided implants don’t require. Of course, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Going with a non-guided implant will most likely lead to implant failure and removal which means a complete waste of money. With guided implants, you’ll have to pay more up-front, but you won’t have to worry about additional (and costly) procedures down the road.
If you live in North Carolina (or you’re willing to drive!), Stanley Dentistry in Cary, NC has some of the most highly-trained implantologists in the country. Dr. Robert Stanley has both a DDS and a Ph.D. in Engineering, making him extremely knowledgeable on the subject of guided implants. He’s placed hundreds of implants and he’s even taught other dentists how to place guided implants. Give our office a call at 919.460.9665 to set up a consultation with Dr. Stanley today. We’ll see you soon!