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  • by: Houssam Sahwil
  • 4 min read



Surgical guides allow doctors to plan an implant virtually and then accurately place an implant in the most safe, predictable, and efficient manner. In addition to increased accuracy, patients will also save chair time.

What is a Surgical Guide?

Surgical guides are the latest advancement in dental implant technology. A surgical guide is created by taking impressions on an intraoral scan of the desired surgical implant site as well as a computer-guided 3D implant planning system. A surgical guide replicates the exact surfaces of the patient's intraoral setting and assists the surgeon to drill implants into the bone with optimal accuracy. Upon placement on the patient's jaw, the surgical guide uses sleeves to help guide the surgical instruments and implant to the proper location.

An assessment of the patient’s anatomy will help determine which type of treatment plan is best. When designing your surgical guide, keep in mind how the guide will be supported. Some surgical guides are teeth-supported, while some surgical guides work best if positioned on the soft-tissue, referred to as Mucosa-supported. Bone-supported guides can also be used when it is necessary for the surgical guide to be positioned on the jawbone. Other factors that will determine your patient’s individualized implant treatment include: the patient’s needs, the number of implants required, the type of surgical guide needed, and if flapless surgery or a fixed/removable prosthesis is required. After the patient’s clinical examination, a surgical guide can be created to suit your patient’s treatment plan.

Advantages of Using a Surgical Guide

One of the main advantages of utilizing a surgical guide is increased accuracy. This not only reduces surgery time, but reduces trauma, pain, and swelling for patients. In turn, it leads to a shorter recovery time for patients. Additionally, it promotes consistent optimal implant placement, resulting in predictable patient care.

Types of Surgical Guides

Depending on your patient’s needs and individualized treatment plan, DDS Labs provides three different types of surgical guides to provide the most personalized and accurate results for implant restoration surgeries. These three options include a SAFE Guide, Universal Guide, and Pilot Guide.

SAFE Guide

The SAFE Guide is used when clinicians need the most accurate implant placement. This Guide provides full drill and implant guidance including a physical stop, ensuring that you will never drill too deep. The SAFE Guide is compatible with the brand specific surgical kit of your choice including: Straumann, BioHorizons, Bicon, Dentsply Sirona Implants, Zimmer Dental, Biomet 3i and Nobel Biocare.

Universal Guide

Just like its name implies, the Universal Guide is compatible with all dental implant brands. By inserting different Universal Drill Keys, you only have to use one guide while still maintaining accuracy during all steps of the procedure. This Guide is used when you seek accurate guidance of all drill steps.  

Pilot Guide

When clinicians want an accurate entry point, a Pilot Guide provides guidance for the first drilling step. The pilot guide increases the predictability of implant surgery and can be used to treat both partially edentulous and edentulous patients. Any standard surgery kit can be used with the Pilot Guide.

Our experienced technical team is here to assist you should you wish to discuss surgical guides in more detail.

Click here to schedule a consultation with our technical team » 

The ultimate guide to dental implants


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