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Nov/Dec 2017
Volume 38, Issue 11

Planmeca FIT® Open CAD/CAM: Speed and Accuracy for Same-Day Dentistry

When striving to provide optimal care that profits not only your patients but also your general family practice of 12 offices, investing in state-of-the-art technologies is a smart strategy, says Shea M. Tolbert, DMD, who has done just that for his South Carolina practice with the Planmeca FIT® Open CAD/CAM system.

The system features Planmeca's CAD/CAM Solution, which delivers excellent speed and accuracy for efficiency in all phases of restorative procedures. “CAD/CAM really helps us become better clinicians,” Tolbert says. “We see our work in a whole new way, viewing crown preparations on a computer screen with every detail magnified. It teaches us to become better technically, because we get instant feedback chairside on our margins, retractions, and so forth, and we're able to make corrections and refinements live without having to schedule repeat appointments or send restorations back to the lab. ”

With the Planmeca FIT Open CAD/CAM system, practices can enhance their offerings by streamlining and improving their restorative processes from days or weeks to a matter of hours. And, as Tolbert has discovered, it puts dentists in complete control of their designs.

“Designing our own crowns helps us have better control of the outcome. For example, when fabricating a crown, in the past the fit around an existing partial was really ‘hit or miss' when sending to the lab with an index. Now, we can scan chairside with the partial in the mouth and deliver it accurately and predictably. This is really one of the biggest benefits with this CAD/CAM system,” Tolbert emphasizes.

Patients also reap benefits of this system, he adds. “Traditional impressions with the tray and goopy material would often lead to gagging and drooling. There was also more room for error, and that meant repeat impressions for some patients, which, of course, was not ideal,” Tolbert says.

“Now with CAD/CAM, it is more like a live video stream in the mouth. Patients can see their digital impressions in 3D on the computer screen, which diagnostically, helps them better understand the process and gets them positively involved with their treatment,” he continues. “The overall patient experience and feedback is just great.”

Tolbert's practice started using Planmeca's CAD/CAM system in 2012. Now, complementary to this system, the company has introduced the Planmeca Emerald™ Next-Gen Intraoral Scanner, an ultra-lightweight, ergonomically designed digital scanner that quickly delivers images with superior accuracy and detail. Tolbert is on board with the new scanning unit.

“The Planmeca Emerald scanner is just blazing fast—its speed, accuracy, and high-definition color are the first things we noticed,” Tolbert raves. The scanner uses a multi-color laser-based system to produce images with a vibrant color palette for realistic digital impressions that allow dentists to distinguish between hard and soft tissue.

Tolbert also points out that the Planmeca Emerald offers new software features such as a preparation clearance heat map that indicates instantly to users whether they have enough clearance for the restoration, which is “something we haven't seen before.” Additionally, he likes that the scanner is built on an open-system platform, so it seamlessly integrates with other systems, enabling expedient collaboration with laboratories.

As for support, Planmeca offers SOS Support for users of their CAD/CAM equipment. This program offers customers assistance with their purchasing decisions, product implementation, and ongoing education to improve their practice.

“This CAD/CAM system and scanner are great for both the practitioner and the patient, as it gives us the opportunity for same-day dentistry,” Tolbert says. “Final restorations in one appointment saves the patient on time away from family and work, and it saves chairside time for the practice. Ultimately, this technology helps us provide the highest quality patient care.”

Planmeca CAD/CAM
650 International Pkwy
Richardson, TX 75081

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