Yesterday Dr. Barron tried out Navident for the first time. Navident has been used in Medicine as a navigation tool primarily in Neurosurgery to aid in accessing difficult to reach brain tumors.
Approximately 4 years ago, Navident was used for the first time in dental implant placement. What does it do? It guides the placement of a dental implant into jawbone through the use of specialized software similar to a “GPS” land-marking system.
Prior to treatment, the patient undergoes a 3D scan of the proposed implant site like the upper right first bicuspid area. A special metal guide covered in putty is placed in his/her mouth. Then, once the scan has been captured, a sensor is clipped onto the guide, which remains in the patient’s mouth until the implant is placed. Dr. Barron attaches a special sensor to the implant hand piece and uses the land-marking information generated by the specialized “GPS” software. Dr. Barron receives immediate, specific feedback on exactly where in the jawbone the implant is to be placed, according to treatment planning. This feedback is in real time and in visual and audible cues. The real value of this software becomes apparent in difficult to place areas of the mouth or in areas of dental crowding.
The Navident system proved to be very capable and achieved Dr. Barron’s objectives. Like any new technology, there is a learning curve to overcome. More importantly, Dr. Barron wants to determine the ‘best fit’ of each technological advancement in terms of its place in the care of his patients. His next step will be to try this system for more comprehensive treatment – like on a patient who is missing all of their teeth.
In short, this amazing technology is yet another tool to help surgeons deliver superior healthcare to patients who have lost one or more teeth.