surgical guides

When utilizing a surgical guide, the lab and the surgeon are able to collaborate on determining which location and angle in the jaw that placing the implant will create the most aesthetically pleasing restoration.


A surgical guide gives the implant surgeon a physical target to ensure that the implant is places in the most ideal location. Surgeons and their patients experience more predictable procedures and less complications when they are able to pre-plan the implant placement with the lab. Surgery times are shortened when using guides, and implants are placed with more accuracy.

There are two options for our surgical guides; pilot guided and fully guided. With a pilot guided surgical guide the dentist has the freedom during the seat to adjust the angle to their preference. Fully guided surgical guides have the benefit of ensuring the exact angle and depth that was predetermined by the doctor and the lab to be the most successful.

Pilot guided surgical guides give the surgeon more flexibility within the ideal parameters established.


To begin creating a surgical guide the doctor sends a CT scan, as well as an STL file or physical models of the patients arches. The lab will input these into the CAD/CAM software, and place a mock-up tooth on the implant to give an idea of how the tooth will present in the mouth. The technician can then adjust the proposed implant placement to find the best angle and location. The file is sent back to the doctor to approve or refine. The final step includes 3D printing the guide from acrylic.

Our surgical guides are made on specialized software by our experienced CAD/CAM team.

ideal applications:

Surgical guides are recommended when:

  • it is beneficial for the doctor and patient to have a shorter surgery time
  • the surgeon desires more accurate implant placements
  • multiple implants are being places, and the teeth need to draw with each other
  • the implant is needed far back in the mouth and room to work is limited
  • an extreme angle is indicated
  • there is bone loss or a jaw deformity
  • there is crowding from the surrounding teeth
  • the case is complex and a inaccurately placed implant will not allow for the restoration to be a natural shape

WDL staff that specialize in this technology:

Brian Green

Milling & Printing Department Lead

Brian is our milling and printing guru here at WDL. Additionally he assists in the CAD/CAM department.


Chris Cooke

Ceramist/ Finish Technician

Chris is one of our skilled ceramists here at WDL. He has been a dental technician since 2013 and works on cosmetic restorations as well as hybrid cases.


Ken Patterson

CAD/CAM Designer

Ken is one of our skilled CAD/CAM designers. He creates the foundations for a variety of WDL’s cases.


Kristen McClain

Removables Technician

Kristen is an important member of our removables department. She has a variety of experience with dentures but currently is focusing on night guards and light denture work.


Nate Seimears

Owner/ Cosmetic Specialist

Nate is one of WDL’s owners. Over the past two decades he has grown to become the county’s specialist for cosmetic work and complex cases.

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