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November/December 2019
Volume 40, Issue 10

Planmeca FIT® Chairside CAD/CAM Helps Dentist Improve Efficiency, Restoration Quality

To Clint Stevens, DDS, FAGD, "digital dentistry" is no longer in its infancy but is up and running full speed ahead. "It won't be long before the dental profession realizes that just like other aspects of our lives, dentistry is digital, and it's going to stay that way."

A graduate of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Stevens first "fell in love" with digital dentistry while attending University of Michigan's Advanced Education in General Dentistry program. Now the owner of a busy private practice in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma, he has been using chairside CAD/CAM for more than a decade.

"Quite simply, an all-digital workflow is the most efficient, predictable, cost-effective solution for restorative dentistry today," Stevens attests, adding that same-day indirect restorations are the norm at his practice. "I don't even think about them as being something special anymore, because we do them all the time. When warranted, an indirect all-ceramic restoration allows me to conservatively restore a patient's tooth to ideal form, function, and esthetics in a durable, long-lasting way."

Stevens counts on the Planmeca FIT® open CAD/CAM system for all his digital workflow needs. "It gives me a predictable, quality chairside system that allows me to decide the best solutions for my patients," he comments. In addition to enabling single-visit restorations, Planmeca FIT lets Stevens easily connect and interact with specialists and laboratories. "Everyone is working digitally these days, and it's crucial that I can share data and work on patients' cases without any restrictions."

Noting Planmeca FIT's seamless support interface, Stevens asserts that the CAD interface is intuitive and easy to use, and the restoration mill quality with the Planmeca PlanMill® 30 S is "second to none." He also appreciates that he can export models and designed restorations, as well as import restoration STLs to mill from other systems.

Using Planmeca FIT, Stevens finds the impact of same-day digital dentistry to be twofold. "Cash flow is better. Regardless of insurance, we simply provide the service and collect the patient's portion, and we're done. Secondly, by finishing the patient's treatment the same day, future production time is left open for other production." Of course, he adds, the patient benefits as well.

Stevens points out the advantages of chairside CAD/CAM when treating younger adult patients. "Generally speaking, they expecttreatment to be ‘on-demand' just like so many other things in the world today. Digital dentistry allows me to meet those expectations," he exclaims.

For clinicians who may still be on the fence about chairside CAD/CAM, Stevens suggests they take a "fresh" look at it. "The technology has evolved a lot in a short period of time," he says. "CAD software is now very easy to use, and restorative materials are better and more esthetic than ever." He adds that with Planmeca FIT the quality of customer support is excellent, and it is easy to train auxiliaries to use the system.

Reiterating the impact of digital dentistry, Stevens emphasizes that dental laboratories are rapidly transitioning to digital workflows. Moreover, combining 3D imaging with chairside CAD/CAM for single-visit dentistry opens up myriad treatment options. "Soon we'll be able to 3D print quickly and accurately. Same-day treatment will encompass not only indirect restorations, but all sorts of endodontic/restorative, implant/restorative, and esthetic smile design and orthodontic aligner cases that will be started the same day a patient comes in. That is the future of dentistry!" He anticipates Planmeca being at the forefront with comprehensive CAD/CAM solutions.


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