Guided surgery in dental procedures is standard practice. And, while additive manufacturing has revolutionized dental procedures, from 3D-printed implants to custom surgical equipment, nowhere are the advantages of 3D printing more impactful than in the creation of surgical guides.
Guided surgery for dental procedures ensures a higher measure of success. Even slight deviations in the placement of an implant can cause serious complications. While minimizing complications of a dental procedure is crucial, it’s just one of the important advantages of 3D Printing for guided surgery in dentistry.
Faster Turnaround Times
The ability for 3D-printed surgical guides to be produced at the chairside offers many benefits by itself. Primarily, using traditional method of getting dental imprints and sending them away for fabrication, involved an extended period of time between imprint and surgical procedure. In addition to imprints not allowing for soft-tissue resiliency and bone topography, it could never predict changes in the surrounding teeth and oral cavity.
In addition, dental impressions require more chair time and discomfort for patients. Conversely, the 3D scans used to create digital models are faster and less intrusive. For dental clinics, faster turnaround times deliver even more benefits. These include less handling, no follow-ups with labs, and generally less overhead costs.
3D-printed surgical guides, created from an intraoral scan, are exponentially more accurate than guides created from dental impressions. The result is a more effective and comfortable fit for implants. And that results in fewer complications for patients. The implant procedure happens with greater stability and more consistent outcomes. The guide fits the patient’s mouth closely and eliminates the need for grinding and adjustment to improve the fit.
The accuracy is yet another contributing factor to faster turnaround times and all the advantages of they foster. With more accurate placement, patients spend less time in the chair.
Greater Customer Satisfaction
We are all aware of the need for creating a better customer experience in dental clinics. Indeed, less chair time, more comfort and fewer visits can be a competitive advantage for any dental practice. Faster turnaround times and greater accuracy produce many downstream benefits for patients. In addition to all the benefits already listed, more accurate placement means faster adjustment to the new application. This can payoff in an untold number of ways. First, there will be fewer patient complaints. Second, the chances of return visits for drawn out adjustments is greatly reduced.
Even more, 3D printing of surgical guides from 3D intraoral scan enables same-day procedures. If patients have issues with visiting the dentist, repeated visits don’t help. Faster, more accurate procedures minimizes patient visits to the clinic.
Implant Planning & Surgical Guide Design
Before you can 3D-print a surgical guide, and take advantage of all the benefits that come with it, you must plan your implant procedure and design your surgical guide accordingly. Exoplan 3.0 Galway by Exocad is a user friendly, high-performance open software platform with everything you need for implant planning and surgical guide design. Exoplan provides maximum flexibility for dental labs, dentists, implant specialists, and surgeons. This digital platform ensures a seamless workflow and the highest usability and performance.
To learn more about additive manufacturing and dentistry, check out our post How 3D Printing Improves the Placement of Dental Implants.