A Dynamic Dental Implant Surgery Technology to Guide, Educate
When Joe Mehranfar, DMD, MS, was searching for an effective way to educate as a training director for a dental implant residency program, a colleague showed him X-Guide®, a dynamic dental implant surgery technology that gives clinicians confidence with its navigational tools and guidance. Dr Mehranfar had previously seen X-Guide at trade shows but had not seen it in action in a live, clinical setting until later, when his colleague demonstrated an implant procedure using X-Guide. “I was thinking,” Dr Mehranfar says, “‘How can I incorporate that into my busy practice?’”
Dr Mehranfar focuses on 3 components in his work: his for-profit practice that focuses on dental implants, his nonprofit aspect that serves underserved populations, and his implant education company. The education and nonprofit components go together to help other dental professionals bolster their implant knowledge to offer guidance to underserved populations in their communities.
X-Guide helps dental professionals who may not be as experienced with implants visualize exactly how dental implant surgery should go. Dr Mehranfar purchased and began using an X-Guide unit for his practice in 2021. “Doctors fly in from all over the country, and they actually work on these patients,” he says. “So, we thought it’d be wonderful to showcase this unit right to these doctors.”
How It Works
When doing dental implant surgery, each doctor may have a specific preference on the technique they may use. The best way to get an accurate dental implant surgery that accounts for position, angulation, and depth is to have dynamic navigation guiding every step of the way. “X-Guide is step-by-step, turn-by-turn,” Dr Mehranfar says. “It’s helping you with the visualization. That’s how the X-Guide helps you navigate through surgery—by the visualization.”
X-Guide features a live, 360º single view of the drill position and anatomy during surgery to accurately guide the clinician as they move the handpiece during osteotomy and implant delivery. Dr Mehranfar finds it particularly helpful to plan out the guide beforehand, using X-Guide’s implant planning software. He is then able to take that plan and follow through, getting a full, robust view of the jawbone with X-Guide’s technology.
X-Guide is a dental implant surgery system that includes treatment planning, 3D navigation, and a live surgery guide. It features a 360º single view of the drill position and anatomy, which allows for a same-day guided surgery and saves money and time for both patient and practitioner.
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“The most important thing is initial positioning,” he says. “[With] the X-Guide, [if you’re looking at the screen during] a dynamic surgery, you can see your drill and your implant being navigated through a jawbone from 3 different views, so you know exactly the position, angulation, and depth based on a preplanning position you’ve created.”
X-Guide works similar to that of a GPS navigation tool that allows for more precision by eliminating potential human error. “It helps you perform a surgery with ease, and it takes the guessing out of the game. It allows the preparation sites to be accurate,” Dr Mehranfar says. “You’re not widening the osteotomy more than you should. You’re not going deeper than you should. You’re not overangulating. By being precise, the fit of the implant in the site you create is more precise.”
When just doing a dental implant surgery freehand, there is a potential for minute vibrations, wrist and finger mispositioning, and wider osteotomy sites. Having a navigated surgical solution—especially one that can tell in real time when to start, stop, or change position—can be a game-changer for dental implant newcomers and veterans.
Adopting Into the Practice
When incorporating X-Guide into the practice, Dr Mehranfar knew it would be a team effort. “I’ve been using planning software for years. So on my end, it was not hard to navigate,” he says. “It is [about] getting your team members excited. The team members have to go through the learning curve, but they did such a wonderful job.”
The team at Dr Mehranfar’s practice was supported by X-Guide’s team, which comes into the practice and spends the day configuring the unit and training the team on how to use it and troubleshoot. X-Guide also offered short videos on how to set up the patient and how to set up the case, which Dr Mehranfar says was a great motivator and an exciting feature for the team.
Dr Mehranfar said the greatest challenge became the natural hesitation that comes with new technology and software and knowing how to break old habits to incorporate new workflows. “I thought it was faster if I just do the surgery without [X-Guide],” he says. “But when you’re doing a surgery, looking for anatomy, and trying to navigate freehand, you run into challenges. [However], if the case [is] planned ahead of time and [you utilize] X-Guide, you can be a lot more precise.”
Now that the whole team has been trained, X-Guide is working at its full potential. “Now that my team members know exactly how to utilize the units, I know exactly how to navigate,” Dr Mehranfar says. “This makes it fun.”
Dr Mehranfar finds that X-Guide has a unique flexibility within its capabilities that only adds to its value for a dental practice. “It has the ability to also give you the positioning of the implant once the implant is placed. Because as clinicians, once the implant is placed, now we have to create a prosthetic that goes on the implant. The X-Guide unit will allow us to do that,” he says.
This also eliminates the need for unnecessary impressions, making the practice more efficient overall. “We don’t have to take analog impressions after surgery, [which] gives me that [time back],” Dr Mehranfar says.
As the industry moves more toward the digital direction, tools like X-Guide can help practices stay ahead of the curve with its advanced technology. Dr Mehranfar believes the standard of care is shifting digitally.
“We are all going digital. It’s becoming a standard of care to take a scan on a patient,” he says. “Before, the standard of care was taking a panoramic x-ray. Now, we look at the standard of care as utilizing 3D technology. I think the technology with X-Guide will improve as more clinicians bring awareness.”
Dr Mehranfar believes this awareness from both patients and clinicians will help bolster dental implant knowledge and expertise, through X-Guide. This ability to create conversations and awareness are not the only things Dr Mehranfar appreciates about X-Guide. Other features that stand out are its mobility and technical support. “The unit is mobile, [so] you can move it around,” Dr Mehranfar says. “It’s easy to use within the practice. You can use it from room to room. That’s what I like about the unit—the ease of use. And the customer support is just fantastic.”
Because education is such a key aspect of Dr Mehranfar’s work, X-Guide provided him a unique opportunity to expand this aspect of his practice through its easy visualization tools to help more inexperienced clinicians. Even more veteran doctors can benefit from breaking the mold and moving away from the flawed, antiquated methods that can be easy to get stuck in, according to Dr Mehranfar. “It helps build confidence. We tend to live in the past. You might say, ‘I’ve done this. I’ll never do it again.’ To me, that’s living in the past,” Dr Mehranfar says.
“It could be intimidating doing these surgeries, and we don’t get a big education as a general dentist in the field of implant dentistry,” he says. “Typically, you gain that post graduation either through fellowships or residencies. X-Guide brings safety for patients and confidence [for] the doctors. That’s why it’s important to utilize these units, especially if you want to be accurate and very precise. If you want to make sure you provide the best care to patients, you utilize an X-Guide.”
X-Guide is a registered trademark of X-Nav Technologies.