Digital implant workflow as we know it today

Dr. Justin Moody discusses diving into the digital workflow

Digital dentistry is a focal point in dentistry, and it has been for many years now. Having been a dentist for 20 years, I have seen the first step in most people’s journey — the conversion from film to digital radiographs. I would bet that digital imaging has been implemented in over 95% of the offices today, and certainly the younger dentists have not worked with traditional film. CBCT is increasing in popularity and usage too. Years ago, I bought one of the first CBCT units in private practice in my state at a cost of $225,000. Today, you can get a good machine for far less, often under $100,000. A reduction in pricing is something you don’t see in dentistry every day!

Figure 1: Implant planning software from Carestream Dental showing nerve position, integration of the IOS scan of the patient, and virtual implant/crown placementFigure 2: imes-icore® GmbH mills used in the fabrication of today’s restorations Digital restorations are now what dentists think of first when we are asked for the uses of digital dentistry. In the beginning, there was a scanner on a big bulky cart with a mill at thousands of dollars of investment, and you can still go that route for same-day crowns in your office, which is great. But today, all dentists can truthfully afford to go digital by scan-only sending to a lab of
their choice.

Implant dentistry workflow in my office is fun. It starts with the CBCT and software to virtually plan the case from virtual restoration to implant delivery via a surgical guide. I use an intraoral scanner to create both the surgical guide and the final impression for the restoration. But the digital portion doesn’t stop there — today’s dental laboratories are nearly 100% digital and can accept the scans, 3D print, and mill the restorations.

With all of these innovations not only on the horizon, but already in practice in many dental offices, it’s time to hop off the fence, embrace the digital age, and get started! Figure 3: Full arch zirconia restoration with hand-stacked gingival porcelain created by Josh Hoffman and Nick Herbert at ProSmiles Dental Studios Figure 4: BioHorizons® 4.6
digital scan body
Figure 5: 3D Digital image rendering from the i-CAT™ FLX

Justin Moody, DDS, DICOI, DABOI, is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology and of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, Fellow and Associate Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Nebraska Medical College. He is an international speaker and is in private practice at The Dental Implant Center in Rapid City, South Dakota. He can be reached at or at

Disclosure: Dr. Moody is a paid speaker for BioHorizons®.

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