Virtual Dental Implant Surgery

 

“Virtual Implant Surgery and Dentistry Is Now A Reality”

Being acknowledged as one of Honolulu Magazines Best Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons by his peers is what continues to motivate Dr. Cameron Y.S. Lee to push the surgical envelope. “I appreciate the recognition by my dental colleagues and am humbled by such an honor.” We are dedicated to clinical surgery and scholarly research and continue to explore new three dimension (3D) digital technologies and how we can incorporate such leading-edge technology into surgical reconstruction of the jaws and teeth, said Dr Lee.

Here in Hawaii, we established a protocol that successfully implemented the 3D surgical phase of treatment with the prosthetic phase (making teeth) in implant dentistry, Lee explains. His work has led to clinical research that has advanced implant surgery and prosthetics. He and his colleagues showed in clinical studies and publications that with the addition of an optical oral laser scanner in the office, we can create models of the jaws and teeth to plan the surgery and the patient’s dentist can actually fabricate the teeth without obtaining those messy, putty type impressions, explained Dr Lee. Integrating 3D CT scan images with the electronic data (STL file) from the laser scanner was the final piece of the puzzle. However, it is not perfect yet, but these new discoveries have already positively impacted patient treatment, especially in reconstruction of the jaws and providing teeth for our patients, Lee emphasizes.

Working with the patients family dentist, we are now able to improve surgical and prosthetic (making teeth) precision and take on the most challenging cases of missing jaw bone and teeth using this advanced technology, Lee explains. Surgical planning software allows the surgeon to generate a 3D, virtual identical model of the patient’s jaws and area of missing teeth. The surgical plan can now be performed in a virtual environment prior to the actual surgery, said Dr. Lee. The final result is returning the patient to society where they can communicate, function and smile with confidence, Lee emphasizes. Such technological advancements are not due to coincidence, but rather the result of collaboration and innovation by thinking outside of the box, says Lee. Collaborating with other clinicians across the United States, their clinical research using this advanced technology of 3D computer software, cone beam CT scans and optical laser scanners was recently recognized for publication in the peer reviewed journal, Implant Dentistry.