What is it and how does it help our patients?
3D printing is technology that allows us to fabricate surgical templates in our office for our implant patients. We first place an implant for our patient very accurately in virtual reality using a 3D scan (CBCT) of the bone as the reference point. Imagine that we are performing the surgery on the computer as a trial before actual doing it in the mouth. We are then able to superimpose that implant position onto a digital scan of the teeth and then utilize the 3D printer to create a guide to duplicate the position in the patient’s mouth. This results in faster, safer surgeries with more precise placement of the implants. Because of the degree of predictability and precision achievable with this system, we can often avoid costly grafting procedures that complicate and delay treatment.