Guided Surgery and New Technologies

Dentistry, just like any other discipline in medicine, keeps evolving towards a less invasive and more conservative philosophy. The goal is to optimize results via techniques that imply a reduced trauma to the tissues and discomfort for the patient.

New technologies are available in order to help clinicians diagnose and treat our patients in a more efficient and comprehensive manner. In this sense, tools such as Digital Smile Design (DSD) allow us to visualize the ideal smile and anatomy before any treatment is performed. A virtual study of the patient's smile enables us to preview the perfect smile, share this information with the rest of the team, and discuss the treatment options with the patient accordingly. This also allows us to optimize our resources in terms of surgery and prosthetic work, approaching us to a better result in terms of esthetics and function.

At Clinica Vilaboa, we apply the new technologies to the benefit of our patients. Guided Surgery is one of the major advances in this aspect. This discipline consists in the integration of all the information obtained from the patient (models, scans, anatomical and prosthetic diagnosis, smile analysis and design) in order to perform the most precise surgery possible. The consequence is a procedure which is a much less invasive process, with better anatomical preservation and less trauma for the patient.

The visualization of all these aspects in a computer system enables us to predetermine the "perfect" treatment, and we can thereafter fabricate a guided template. This template is similar to a night guard in design, and it only allows us to 'cut' and place our implants in the ideal position according to our virtual plan, with a high degree of precision. This enables us to literally place our implants without the need to see the bone by raising the gums. We are nowadays able to perform more and more complicated cases in a minimally invasive manner: better results, "smaller" surgeries for complex situations or advanced / large reconstructions, with reduced treatment times, and a reduced disturbance to the patient.

Cone Beam Computerized Tomography (CBCT) is a commonly used tool in dental implantology, periodontics, endodontics and oral surgery. This technology produces a high resolution image of the skull of the patient (bony anatomy) in 3 dimensions, which is necessary in order to perform a more precise, efficient and safer surgery. The radiation emitted by CBCT devices is so reduced that it is incomparable to older technologies. These images provide us with vital information in order to treat our patients better.

Nowadays, the process of creating a prosthesis is becoming less and less handcrafted, giving way to Computerized Aided Design and Manufacturing (CAD / CAM technologies). These techniques are not exclusive to engineering, chemistry, architecture etc; they are deeply imbricated in various disciplines of dentistry such as prosthodontics, surgery and orthodontics. Thanks to these technologies, we are able to design the ideal santmy and smile of the patient on a computer screen. A machine can thereafter fabricate the teeth, template or any kind of device with a much higher precision than any conventional method. CAD / CAM technologies allow us to virtualize, mill, 3D print (e.g. fabricate) prosthesis (teeth) with a much higher degree of precision and, as a consequence, higher durability and incomparable performance. At Clinica Vilaboa, we make profit of these advances in order to provide a better treatment and service for our patients.