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Inside Dentistry
July 2018
Volume 14, Issue 7

Realizing the Power of Digital Technology

Planmeca Emerald intraoral scanner and ProMax® CBCT help Guidera fuel his vision

Daniel P. Guidera, DDS, had a modest goal when he started his practice in Vista, California, in 1982. He wanted to deliver excellent dentistry to the middle class. Guidera says he is not a high-pressure salesperson; rather, he just wants to give patients what is best for them.

"My daughter once asked me how long it took me to become successful, and I told her it took 20 years," Guidera says. "I am not in the business of making money by fixing teeth; I take care of people, and as a result of that, I make a living. I was not successful overnight, but over time, patients appreciate that attitude. For the most part, they come to me because they do not want a hard sell, and they believe that what I tell them is in their best interest."

Listening is the key to the philosophy. Guidera says his mission is not to approach every case in a textbook manner, but instead, to find out what patients want-as well as what they might not know they need-and to provide that.

Word-of-mouth marketing among patients has helped Guidera's practice grow, but referrals from specialists are another important component. His specialists respect his integrity as well as the state-of-the-art equipment he uses. "Digital technology allows me to do some things that many other dentists in my immediate area cannot do, and my specialists love that," Guidera says. "For example, my periodontist had a patient who needed to receive an implant bridge within 3 days before leaving for a trip to South America. Milling a provisional bridge was no problem for me. When you can do something like that for specialists, they want to work with you."

Capabilities such as this have reinvigorated Guidera in his fourth decade of practicing. He says if he had been asked about his feelings regarding dentistry 8 years ago, his response would have been, "How much longer do I need to do this?" However, since implementing a CAD/CAM system 6 years ago, he wants to continue practicing for as long as he can.

"I find the whole thing so exciting and powerful that I want to see where it is going," Guidera says. "Until you have gone digital, you don't realize the power it gives you. I like to say that CAD/CAM allows you to be the dentist you want to be."

Two products that have particularly fueled that rejuvenation are the Planmeca Emerald intraoral scanner and the Planmeca ProMax® cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) system.

The Planmeca Emerald is an ultra-lightweight, ergonomically designed scanner that quickly delivers images with superior accuracy and detail. By using a multicolor, laser-based system, it produces images with a vibrant color palette for realistic digital impressions that allow dentists to easily distinguish between hard and soft tissue.

"It is roaring fast, and it really captures detail with less effort," Guidera says.

Recently, Guidera has been utilizing the Planmeca Emerald in combination with the Planmeca ProMax to plan guided implant surgeries with his periodontist. However, the Planmeca ProMax has a multitude of other uses. With three different types of 3D imaging-as well as panoramic, extraoral bitewing, and cephalometric imaging-it is designed to meet any diagnostic requirement in maxillofacial imaging.

"It reveals issues that you could never identify with a 2-dimensional image," Guidera says. "Part of being a good general dentist is knowing when something is in your league and when it is not. The Planmeca ProMax helps me determine when I need to refer a case to a specialist. For example, in an endodontic case, it can help me decide whether or not I should be performing the root canal myself, and it gives me confidence regarding the location of the canal systems."

Planmeca's customer service, he says, has been outstanding, including the provision of continuing education classes that help users maximize the effectiveness of the equipment.

"Many manufacturers offer CAD/CAM systems and imaging systems, but not many combine excellence in both in an easy, open platform," he says. "That is what puts Planmeca at the forefront."

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