July/August 2019
Volume 40, Issue 7

3D Imaging Helps Practitioner Take “Amazing Leap” With Implant Dentistry

In 2006, fresh out of the University of Mississippi Medical School, Rachel Johnson, DMD, started her family and cosmetic dental practice as a humble two-person operation. Eventually, with the advice and support of neighboring dentists, volunteer clinics, and specialists she opened a second practice, and now provides "everything from pediatric check-ups to full-arch implant restorations."

Johnson began implementing implant dentistry after meeting with her Henry Schein® representative. As a general practitioner, she knew she wanted to expand her practice but was unsure about the options initially presented to her. "At some point you realize that in order to grow your practice, you either have to charge more, add more rooms to your office, expand your procedural mix, or add more workdays," she explains. It was at this point she decided to learn more about placing implants. "I signed up to take an upcoming Advanced Implant Education (AIE) class in New Orleans, and the rest is history."

About 6 months into her implant training, she replaced her 2D Planmeca Pan machine with the Planmeca ProMax® 3D Classic. "I've always used Planmeca products," Johnson affirms, "so after talking to several practitioners across the nation, who suggested Planmeca's CBCT not only for the quality of the imagery, but also the company's strong customer service, I requested a demo for both the Planmeca ProMax 3D Classic CBCT and the Planmeca Emeraldintraoral scanner." Johnson says she was so impressed with the equipment, she purchased both the same day she received the demo and never looked back.

Through her experience of placing implants, Johnson learned that with the use of CBCT imaging and surgical guides, the margin of error in implant placement can be almost eliminated, she says. "Surgery requires both precise planning and skill, but there is also an organic component that technology can't replace," she points out. "We must always plan for the best and prepare for the worst, and technology aids in taking that burden off our shoulders."

Because of the numerous studies on the effects of digital radiation on patients, Johnson employs the Planmeca Ultra Low Dose imaging protocol. She says this protocol provides patients significantly less radiation compared to standard dosages, an average of 77% less*, while still allowing clinicians to acquire the necessary information to make an accurate diagnosis and formulate an ideal treatment plan.

Offering an extended-volume diameter size of ø11x8 cm, the Planmeca ProMax 3D Classic unit covers the entire dentition, making it ideal for full-arch dental 3D imaging. It captures the full dentition with one scan with an effective patient dose equivalent to an intraoral periapical x-ray using the Planmeca Ultra Low Dose protocol. Johnson adds that the unit has also been "a huge help by taking a small field-of-view 3D, ULD image instead of an intraoral periapical x-ray. We've been able to diagnose several vertical root fractures or periapical lesions with this technology, saving patients time and money."

Planmeca offers many training videos on its Planmeca University website (planmecauniversity.com), as well as on YouTube and Vimeo. "Our Planmeca representative is always just a text or email away to answer any of our questions," Johnson attests.

"The addition of implant dentistry has been an amazing leap for our practice," Johnson concludes, noting that she personally enjoys seeing the transformation in patients' self-esteem and joy after placing implants. Planmeca's support is instrumental in making it all possible.


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