Virtual SurgICAL PLANNING
Dr. Pitcher has placed a special emphasis in his practice on the use of virtual surgical planning for placement of dental implants, wisdom tooth removal, corrective jaw surgery, and jaw reconstruction. Use of virtual surgical planning increases the precision and accuracy of surgery. This in turn improves surgical outcomes and decreases your recovery time and risk of complications.
The first step in virtual surgical planning is to obtain a cone-beam CT. This allows Dr. Pitcher to see your jaws in three dimensions. Seeing your jaws in three dimensions is important to visualize important anatomy and allows your surgeon to develop a patient-specific and individualized treatment plan. Virtual surgical planning software allows your surgeon to simulate your surgery during the planning stage in order to develop a detailed surgical plan. We also have a digital intraoral impression scanner to obtain an immediate 3-D scan of your teeth to maximize our digital treatment planning capabilities.
Treatment planning for Dental Implants
For tooth replacement with placement of dental implants, Dr. Pitcher is able to virtually design your replacement tooth (teeth) with your restorative dentist and place virtual implants in your jaw to determine to appropriate size, position, depth, and angulation of your implants to optimize your functional outcomes.
This will also help determine if you have enough bone in your upper or lower jaw for implant placement and if you require bone grafting procedure prior to or at the time of implant placement.
wisdom tooth removal
While a 2-dimensional panorex is usually sufficient to remove your wisdom teeth, there are some circumstances when your wisdom teeth appear to be positioned closely to surrounding structures and additional imaging is necessary. 3-dimensional imaging is used to visualize the important anatomy in your upper and jaws around your wisdom teeth to plan the surgical approach and help minimize the risk of complications.
Corrective Jaw surgery
To correct the misalignment of your jaws, virtual surgical planning is used to simulate the movements of your upper and/or lower jaw. Using virtual 3-dimensional models, Dr. Pitcher is able to visualize the position of your jaws in the pre-operative, intermediate and final positions. Virtual surgical planning is more accurate and precise in correcting the position of your jaws in each dimension when compared to traditional model surgery.
Virtual surgical planning is also used to determine where to place the osteotomy cuts in the jaw, and to visualize how the jaws fit together in the new positions. This helps the surgeon avoid interferences with the jaw movements and determine how to position the jaws in the most stable position. Once the final plan is complete the surgical splints (guides) are then digitally printed.