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How chairside CAD/CAM can provide the care that patients deserve


Dental Products Report talks to Dr. Barrie Matthews, a dentist in Montana, about his experience using the Planmeca FIT CAD/CAM system in his pracitce.

Dr. Barrie Matthews decided it was time to invest in a CAD/CAM system in 2011. He knew CAD/CAM was changing the game in dentistry, and he wanted his practice, Big Sky Smile Center, in rural Montana to be part of it.

He opted for the Planmeca FIT system and has one in his office in southeastern Montana and his recently opened office in northeastern Montana.

What Dr. Matthews says about Planmeca FIT System

Dr. Barrie Matthews

Dr. Barrie Matthews

I’m in a rural location in Eastern Montana where farming and ranching is our backbone. As a result, I have patients who travel 150 miles one way just to see us, sometimes with very little advanced notice and with limited time, so I don’t want to send their crown(s) off to the lab and temporize when they can get a clinically superior result from my Planmeca FIT System. We really value their time and their schedule; temporizing creates more of a time commitment in their already limited schedules. I don’t have a lab down the street I can work with that will give me a quick turn-around time, so a CAD/CAM system is a necessity to providing the care our patients deserve and desire. 

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The Planmeca FIT offers unsurpassed benefits in comparison to a traditional lab-fabricated crown. My patients get same-day crowns-no bulky, ugly temporary crown to deal with, no time spent waiting on a lab, no need for a second visit (which is especially important to my farming and ranching patients), and no questioning the outcome of the final lab-fabricated crown. My patients, within a few hours, have a crown that is not only perfectly customized for the perfect fit, feel and look, but the lithium disilicate crown they receive is also so much stronger than a PFM and the clinical results are unparalleled with a predictable, consistent, and stunning outcome. To have full control of the outcome is a very powerful clinical tool. 

The key to CAD/CAM dentistry is constant training. If you don’t make sure your team members immerse themselves in it, every day, you will fail the technology and you will fail your patients. I’ve seen it happen on more than one occasion. Dentists invest in a $100,000 machine they never use, or can’t use because they don’t understand and their team doesn’t understand all it’s capable of. We use ours every day. If you’re doing 12 to 15 crowns a month you’re going to get ROI almost immediately, and I do 30 to 50. 

What dental assistant Kristi Certain says about Planmeca FIT

I love that we can give patients same-day care; it’s more convenient. It means they don’t have to take an additional day off of work, find a second babysitter or travel to come back to get their crown permanently cemented on. 

Planmeca FIT gives me the ability to be artistic in ways I never imagined possible. I don’t think I could go back to making temporary crowns, nor would I want to. The Planmeca FIT enables us to provide our patients with service and clinical results that are above and beyond the standard. 

Cover story: Are digital impressions REALLY better than traditional?

The software is very easy to use, regardless of your computer skills. Following the steps Planmeca provided for us, we can easily manage even the most complicated cases. 

My favorite cases are the multi-unit anterior crowns. We recently had a patient who needed multiple posterior and anterior crowns due to recurrent decay. After talking to her one-on-one, I found out she has always hated her smile; she has crowding, well-water staining and old discolored restorations. We treatment planned the restoration of her maxillary arch with our same-day crowns. She was blown away with the outcome; it was amazing and life changing for her.  

For more information about the Planmeca FIT system, contact Planmeca USA by calling 630-529-2300 or by visiting planmeca.com.

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