Thursday, July 30, 2015

CT Based Precision-Guided Dental Implant Placement

It is amazing how far technology has come in dentistry in a short period of time.  Today's blog is going to discuss placing implants using cutting edge Cone Beam Computed Tomography (also known as CBCT) imaging and guided implant placement computer software.   CT- based dental implant placement, I believe, will soon become the standard of care for implant surgery.  The benefits of having a CT done prior to implant placement are immense: 
  • We will know before surgery if you have enough bone to support an implant.  Traditional methods of determining bone quality with a standard x-ray only gives a two-dimensional image that shows only the height of bone. CBCT imaging gives a 3D view of the bone also allowing width and density measurements, to determine ultimate implant placement options. 
  • We can precisely locate vital structures such as nerves, adjacent teeth, bone defects, and bone topography.
  • We can use computers to precisely place the implant in not only the best location of bone quality, we can also place it in the best place for esthetics, and most importantly, function.  
  • By realizing the whole picture, seeing where the implant is going to go prior to surgery,  we have the ability to evaluate and discuss with our patients all risks, complications, and possible compromises that may be present in each individual case.  

Above is a screenshot of a treatment plan with multiple, fully adjustable windows giving every angle and view of the future implant site.  Each window can be opened and allows full rotation around the implant and surgical site.

Normal x-ray only showing height of bone
CT Image cross-section of same area of missing tooth
This is a classic example of why a CT image is so important!  There is no way to know looking at a normal radiograph that there is a major ledge and thinning of bone (indicated by the arrow).  This anatomical ledge greatly impacts placement and size/length of the dental implant.  You can imagine how valuable this information is for surgical procedures.  With improper technique and only basic x-rays, this case could end up with major problems if you thought there was plenty of height of bone for implant placement.  Our next blog will further discuss the surgical placement of implants using this newer technology.  For more information, please visit our website:


  1. Good information. It was really useful. looking forward for more useful information
    Thank you.

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