The Advantages and Disadvantages of Image-Guided Dental Implant Surgery

If you have recently had teeth pulled and are looking into getting dental implants to replace the lost teeth, you should know that there are different surgical options to choose from. Among the most cutting edge of methods of dental implant surgery is image-guided dental surgery. It is a relatively new procedure that essentially uses X-rays to guide the dentist in order to produce accurate and safe results. This brief article will adequately define image guided dental surgery, address the advantages and disadvantages of the surgery, as well as describe who qualifies for such surgeries.

What Is Image Guided Dental Surgery?

As mentioned above, image guided dental surgery actually uses X-rays to take real-time photos of the patient's mouth. This allows the dentist performing the surgery to make very accurate, precise incisions with greater ease than simply flying solo. You can think of image-guided dental surgery as a sort of GPS for dentists.

The images that are projected onto the screen act as a navigation tool for the dentist. This is particularly helpful for implant surgery, as the jaw is a notoriously difficult bone to operate on and the implant must be surgically implanted directly into the mandible. Image-guided dental surgery has actually allowed dentists to perform procedures that were previously believed unable to be performed, such as upper mandible surgery.


Perhaps the greatest advantage of image-guided dental surgery is that it greatly reduces the possibility of errors during surgery. Surgery is a very delicate procedure that requires the utmost attention, and image-guided surgery allows the dentist to pay greater attention to small details during surgery.

Surgeries performed under the watchful eye of image-guided surgery actually require less chair time as well. In addition to being incredibly accurate, such surgeries are often very quick. Quick—and, while not painless—much less painful. Such surgeries allow dentists to take precautions and make less mistakes than they would be capable of had they opted to not use image-guided equipment.


First and foremost, image-guided dental surgery is a costly procedure. Due to the cost of the equipment used in image guided dental surgery, the procedures cost increases exponentially. What could have merely been a co-pay on your monthly insurance bill could turn into a very costly endeavor.

Another disadvantage of image-guided dental surgery is simply finding a dentist that has the equipment to perform the operations; this can be an endeavor in and of itself. The procedure is very new, so only very cutting edge dentists tend to have their hands on the equipment necessary for such procedures to take place.

Who Qualifies for Image-Guided Dental Implant Surgery

The answer to this question will actually vary from provider to provider, so it is best to check with your specific insurance company. There are, however, a few general rules of thumb to determine who qualifies for image-guided dental implant surgery. There are two very common candidates who qualify.

First are those who are at risk for receiving facial scarring from surgical procedures. Image-guided surgery being much more accurate than analog-based surgeries lessens the chance of scarring. Second are those with very severe dental issues, particularly relating to the mandible, as it is less invasive, which means the dentist is less likely to damage the jaw during the surgery.

Image-guided dental surgery provides an alternative method to other forms of dental surgery. It is also more effective and accurate than other forms of surgery and can actually lessen the appearance of scars, making it a suitable choice for those with sensitive skin that is prone to scarring. For more information, talk to a professional like Dale D. Lentz DDS.