March 2015
Volume 36, Issue 3

PlanScan™ CAD/CAM Solution: Producing Crowns Chairside "Easier, Better"

Since purchasing the Planmeca PlanScan™ system in 2008, Jason Schermer, DDS, a private practitioner from Mayfield Heights, Ohio, has been a firm believer in the CAD/CAM technology. Not only has this acquisition made him a better dentist, but like a "dental video game," it has brought back fun to the practice of dentistry for him. Moreover, the system gives him the opportunity to provide a higher level of service to his patients.

"Unlike a traditional impression, I have more control in the outcome of a digital impression, and the software enables me to focus on my preparations," Schermer says. "You can scan the prep, see it magnified on the computer screen, and then know on the spot if it is going to work or not. If there is anything that needs modifying or changing, you can either pick up the handpiece or adjust it right on the computer. All of this is possible without ever having to wait until the model is ready, discuss the case with the lab, and then apologize to the patient for having them come back for more changes."

There is also the matter of professional pride, he adds. "I can look at the finished product, try it in, place it, see it in function, and be able to say, ‘I did that—that is my artwork!'"

"With a smoothly integrated platform and better scanning capabilities, the new PlanScan system makes the whole process of producing crowns chairside easier and better," Schermer attests. The system now includes Planmeca PlanScan with three removable autoclavable tips, a power cable, and scanner cradle; Planmeca PlanCAD® with design software, mouse, and laptop; and the Planmeca PlanMill 40®. Together with these components, the system enables dentists to offer patients same-day restorations, including crowns, inlays, onlays, bridges, and veneers. The Planmeca Romexis® software allows for an ideal digital treatment workflow, including an open STL file format that enables seamless integration and collaboration with other systems, as well as the ability to export case files to any third-party for review or completion.

Schermer says that even when he does not mill out the crowns himself, the system saves him time and improves results. "Sometimes, if it is a bigger case, I will scan, work off of a model, and then send the patient home with standard temporaries," he explains. "But, I can still turn it around faster and get better results this way than if I had to send the case to a lab, because this way I can fine-tune the restorations' look and design right on the spot."

When he initially purchased the technology, Schermer says, he went to Planmeca University in Dallas for training before the system was installed in his office. After training, a company representative spent a day at his practice for integration to make sure he got off to a good start. Although he says he doesn't need additional clinical training now, he likes knowing that help is just a phone call away. "I know they can remote into my computer if I have an issue."

Beyond that, he finds the passion of the people at Planmeca contagious and says there is always more to learn. "Whether looking at the process differently or finding a new way to use the software, just conversing with different people at Planmeca University sets you up for even greater success in digital dentistry," he says.

Schermer contends that those who think CAD/CAM doesn't offer a high enough level of esthetics have not seen it correctly utilized. "With an adequate prep, margins that are sealed, and a design based on how the final restoration should look, lab-quality crowns can beproduced," he insists. "It really depends on clinical judgment and knowing how and when to use the technology. It's just a matter of telling the computer what you want it to do while keeping in mind the ‘GIGO philosophy—garbage in, garbage out."

Schermer calls Planscan a "practice supporter." "This new technology helps us provide our patients with a better experience and gives us a product that fits right into their lifestyle."

Planmeca CAD/CAM Solutions – E4D Technologies

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