Putting the patient at the centre of implant treatment might seem obvious but, as Eybi Becerra explains, choosing an implant system and digital workflow that enables you to deliver beautifully aesthetic, long-lasting restorations with minimal surgical intervention is really putting your patients first.
When it comes to implant-borne prosthetic treatment, the scope for giving patients real choice in how their teeth will look and function has widened exponentially, giving restorative dentists the potential to put their patients at the very centre of treatment and to restore front-row smiles.
At the 2018 International Congress on Ankylos in Berlin, French implant surgeon, Anne Benhamou recalled a survey she conducted in 2017 of 50 patients; her aim – to find out what her implant patients cared most about. Their first questions were about the surgery and how long it would take, then they asked about what the temporary would look like and whether they would be able to smile during healing. The last two questions were: ‘Will it hurt?’ and ‘How much does it cost?’ When it’s about their smile, pain and cost become secondary considerations; more important is what the final outcome will be.
Single-stage, prosthetic-led surgery
Digital dentistry now makes it possible for an implant surgeon to carry out minimally invasive, single-stage surgery on suitable patients, combining extraction socket healing, implant placement and a temporary restoration all at the same stage.
There are five key elements to the single-stage surgery concept – flapless, immediate implant placement, guided bone regeneration, connective tissue graft and immediate temporisation – and each of these must achieve primary stability and an ideal implant position in order to be successful. A digital workflow considerably increases the chances of both.
Armed with the 360-degree detail from the surface and CBCT scans, it is possible to plan exactly the right position for the implant, and estimate the amount of bone grafting required, enabling the restoration to be designed and planned simultaneously. A surgical guide can then be used to place the implant into the precisely planned position.
Easy collaboration at all stages of planning and treatment ensures that all parties, including the patient, have input and can give approval for the chosen treatment pathway. Most importantly, the patient can be shown a virtual trial of their planned restoration in situ, which they can then accept or request adaptation, according to their preferences.
When treatment is planned to this level of detail the surgery itself should be shorter and the provisional can be fixed in place for the healing period. For the patient’s self-esteem, the aesthetic and comfort of the provisional is almost as important as that of the final restoration and so plays a big part in patient satisfaction.
And of course, the choice of implant system is also key to treatment success. The Ankylos implant system from Dentsply Sirona features the advanced Tissuecare Concept. This has been scientifically and clinically proven to maintain hard and soft tissue over time, delivering lasting tissue stability and excellent aesthetic results.
A digital, patient-centric workflow
As an example of the benefits of a digital implant workflow we should imagine a patient with a dental phobia who has been forced to seek dental treatment. It may be that the patient requires an implant-borne restoration and some bone regeneration in order to sufficiently support the implant. It is likely that such a patient would be very concerned at the thought of the impending treatment.
Imagine then the sense of relief as one by one, their fears are allayed:
- Their teeth are scanned in minutes by a small digital intraoral scanner – no uncomfortable and unpleasant-tasting conventional impression
- The patient is fully informed and included in the treatment planning and can visualise the final restoration thanks to CAD technology
- Only one surgery is required and an aesthetic provisional can be fixed in place straight away
- Not long after, the final restoration will be fitted and the smile is fully restored.
At the follow-up appointment, the satisfied patient should return for a check-up with a beautiful, aesthetic, front-row smile still firmly in place – a happy patient whose dental phobia is now a long-distant memory!
You can also access a range of education resources, video tutorials, courses and CPD webinars at dentsplysirona.com/ukeducation.
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