March 2019
Volume 40, Issue 3

Use of Planmeca Emerald™ Scanner Saves Time, Impresses Patients, High-Tech Dentist Says

As a dental educator and associate at a thriving private practice, Wally Renne, DMD, understands the importance of keeping up-to-date with dental technology. He strives not only to utilize the most current equipment and tools available in his practice but also to teach the use of these advancements to his students. "It is the highlight of my career to teach new technology to the next generation of dentists," says Renne, a professor and assistant dean of Innovation and Digital Dentistry at the Medical University of South Carolina College of Dental Medicine. He likewise enjoys working with companies like Planmeca that are dedicated to providing highly innovative products and uses that company's full technology suite for his digital workflow.

Using the Planmeca FIT® chairside system in conjunction with the Planmeca Emerald intraoral scanner and Planmeca Creo C53D printer has made taking impressions faster and easier at Renne's busy Charleston, South Carolina, office, he confirms. "As an open-system scanner, the Planmeca Emerald produces accurate scans, works seamlessly with other software, and lets the user instantly export both STL and color PLY files," he says.

The Planmeca Emerald lets Renne complete arch scans in under a minute. As a dentist who performs a high volume of anterior smile designs, Renne has come to rely on the integration of the Planmeca technology suite. "The combination of the high-tech scanner and the Planmeca Creo C5 has been a game changer. I can see a patient for an esthetic consultation, quickly scan their mouth, complete a 3D smile design, and export the STL file to print," he affirms. "In less than 8 minutes, I have a printed model of the patient's wax-up ready to show and can make a silicone index for transfer to the patient's mouth."

The speed in which the Planmeca technology suite allows him to take impressions, along with the cost efficiency, is remarkable, Renne says. "With the Planmeca Emerald, I am quickly able to scan an edentulous area, merge with CBCT, plan the implant, and print a guide," he exclaims. He adds that the Planmeca Creo C5 is highly reliable and says he has not found a faster printer at the price point Planmeca offers.

His patients also benefit, as "same-day CAD/CAM is a great service for them," Renne notes. In his research, he has found that impressions are one of the most dreaded procedures of patients. "Taking digital impressions can help alleviate peoples' anxiety," he suggests. In fact, patients at his practice even seem to enjoy getting digital impressions. "They're very intrigued by the technology and speed in which everything is done."

Also, chairside milling has virtually eliminated the need for a patient to come back for a second delivery appointment. "Patients clearly appreciate this aspect," he attests, adding that he feels the quality of his chairside restorations is equal to that of a dental laboratory.

According to Renne, Planmeca has many learning resources and support tools available to users, as well as to clinicians who may be interested in purchasing the digital technology. Besides videos and tutorials on both YouTube and the Planmeca website, an active Planmeca FIT group on Facebook allows for peer-to-peer interaction. Additionally, LearningDigitalDentistry.com has more resources and hands-on classes.

For dentists who may be on the fence regarding CAD/CAM dentistry, Renne has a bit of advice. "What are you waiting for? Try the full Planmeca technology suite, and you will see the difference," he says.


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