A surgical guide makes implant placement exact

Dental implants are revolutionizing the way we treat tooth loss. They have the highest success rates and longevity in comparison to dentures and bridges. They are the best solution for maintaining jaw bone integrity and matching the appearance of natural teeth.

Benefits of an implant surgical guide

An implant surgical guide is an overlay that resembles a plastic mouthguard. It has holes in it that mark exactly where the implants are supposed to go. The holes control the depth and the angle of the drill that is used to set the implants so there are no mistakes in placement.

In fact, guided surgery is a way for dentists to virtually plan an entire implant placement without ever picking up an instrument. This enables the dentist to place patients’ implants in a predictable and safe manner. This, in turn, leads to the best possible aesthetic results and the overall efficiency of each procedure.

What takes place

A 3D cone beam scan is taken to begin the process. Next, a virtual model is compiled from the three-dimensional images using implant planning software. This information is placed into a system that can be retrieved by the lab that will be fabricating the guide. Of course, these steps are only conducted once a thorough exam has been conducted and the patient has been deemed a successful implant candidate.

Safety first

The main reason dentists utilize guided surgery to place implants is for patient safety. The surgical guide actually has a limit that stops the drill depth at a certain place. It also ensure that the implant is set at the precise angle that is needed. The guide enables the dentist to set the implant without any guesswork. It ensures accurate placement of every implant for every patient.

Cross-sectional diagnostic information — which is gathered from the 3D scan — helps the dentist determine the following:

  • Jaw bone density
  • Where the nerves are located
  • The position of the submandibular fossa
  • Where the implant screw access is best placed for the proposed restoration
  • Which implant width will be most successful
  • Optimal implant platform placement in comparison to the bony crest

3D imaging is extremely useful to paint a clear picture of the patient’s treatment plan ahead of time. Using a dental implant surgical guide along with the visual information gained from the 3D X-rays dramatically adds to the efficiency of the entire dental implant procedure. This means less time in the chair and better healing potential for the patient.


Patients feel more comfortable undergoing dental implant surgery if they have a clear picture detailing what they will look like post surgery. Dentists can discuss cone beam scan results with their patients and educate them on their biological limitations and what the best course of treatment will be. Determining if any bone loss has occurred and having a clear picture of their gingiva and teeth are integral pieces to the treatment process. Making educated guesses is not an accurate method. Dentists have amazing technological advances to use in order to show patients the concerns that need to be addressed.

Your oral health ultimately affects the rest of your body. Choosing dental implant surgery to replace your missing teeth will result in a lifetime of loving your smile.

Dr. Robert Harrell is the Charlotte-area leader for the best implant implants. He utilizes the very latest, state-of-the-art equipment to create surgical guides for his patient’s and ensure ideal implant outcomes.

To learn more about dental implants, contact Harrell Dental Implant Center today. Call 704-206-1330 or use the contact form on this page to reach us. We look forward to hearing from you.