New Dental X-Rays Offer Great Advantages

CT scan technology combined with new computer programs allows periodontists to plan dental cases in advance, get better results, and shorten treatment time.

We have been using CT scan technology in our practice now for about a decade.  It is perhaps the single most important tool that we have in our office.  It literally lets us see through the bone, very much the way I would take an apple, cut that apple in half and be able to open it up and look inside.  With the CT scan, I have that same ability to take an image of your jaw, cut it in half and look at the inside of your jaw.  In doing so, we have so many advantages.  Diagnostically, we can find certain types of lesions that are related to root canals or failing root canals that we may not ordinarily see on regular dental X-rays.  We can certainly see the anatomy much better.  We can find where the sinuses are with great accuracy.  We can find where certain nerves are located, so we can avoid them during surgery.

We also have planning software that works with these images that allows us to use our computer to plan out an entire case in advance, whether it is for a single implant or for many implants and make sure that we place the implant in the most ideal position.  That planning lets us do a much better job, more accurately, more efficiently when it comes to doing the actual surgery.

Beyond that, in many instances, we then mill guides that allow us to take our plan that we made on the computer and with tremendous accuracy replicate t through a CAD cam, meaning a computer-assisted design, computer-assisted milling process.  We mill a guide and replicate our plan that we made without the patient there and then deliver  on the day of treatment the same exact plan that we designed in advance.

This process allows us to do certain procedures that may require going around a nerve or a sinus much more accurately and safer than we would ordinarily.  It also allows us the opportunity to maximize what little bone some patients may have remaining.  It also lets us place implants in the most ideal position.  Finally, with high-tech x-rays and software, we work much more efficiently and we can do less invasive procedures.  By taking advantage of CT scan technology, we minimize chair time for the patient.

In sum, we are able to take CT scan information, combine it with computer planning ahead of time, and then ultimately deliver a superior outcome for our patients.


IMG_3490_lowDr. Frederic J. Norkin
South Florida Center for Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

Implant Dentistry Advancing Rapidly—Robotic Assisted Surgery Coming Soon

Implant dentistry is advancing so quickly that soon almost all patients will have same-day teeth and robotics will help make surgery less invasive.

 In general the trends in implant dentistry have been placing implants in more difficult places or more difficult circumstances, using less drastic procedures, having them heal faster and look better.  It was considered a crazy idea 20 years ago to think that patients could walk out of an office with teeth the same day of treatment.  We do that routinely now.

In the future, we will be able to do that even more frequently than we do now.  We probably can do it three quarters of the time today based on the circumstances of the case.  I imagine we will be doing it 90% of the time in a couple of years and replace almost any tooth and load it immediately, which means it will be functional that same day.

There is also a trend toward doing fewer bone grafts because shorter and smaller implants seem to be as successful as longer and wider ones which require more bone.  In a sense, we are developing the ability to do more with less.

Some of the challenges we have had in the past, particularly in terms of complications with dental implants, have been cement getting stuck around implants and causing bone loss and infections.  We are going to see different attachment mechanisms that no longer require screwing a crown or cementing a crown to an implant.  We are just going to snap them into place, which is going to be quicker, simpler, and more trouble free.

On another exciting front, I am involved with a company that is developing robotic guidance in order to place implants extremely precisely using a very minimally invasive approach.  It is computer assisted surgery and it is similar to what is being done in orthopedics.  This new robotic approach will be on the market probably a year from now and although its first generation is rather large, the second and third generations of that unit will be much smaller.  This process is also going to allow us to prepare a temporary restoration in advance so that everything is a little bit faster and more streamlined in the treatment process.

index_dr_ganales-xsDr. Jeffrey Ganeles
South Florida Center for Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Boca Raton, FL
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