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Q&A with Dr. Bryan Couch, DDS, Complete Smiles Dentistry, Coppell, Texas
Q: CAD/CAM systems for dentistry have come a long way. When first introduced, CAD/CAM equipment was almost exclusively a laboratory tool, but today it has developed into an in-office solution that provides single-day dentistry. Can you explain the role Planmeca has played in enhancing CAD/CAM dentistry?
A: I have had the PlanScan system for almost six years, and when I was first evaluating CAD/CAM, I was trying to determine whether or not my office was ready for digital dentistry. Does it do what they say it will, and can it work in my office? After careful consideration, I chose PlanScan because it was very user-friendly.
Doing so has allowed me to train all of my assistants, as well as easily implement it into my practice. For a recent restoration, I had my assistant design then mill the restoration. I tried it in the patient’s mouth, then the assistant completed the custom shading and bonded it adhesively into the patient’s mouth.
Digital dentistry allows you, as the dentist, to decide which procedures to train out.
Having PlanScan in my office also allows me to complete a procedure and save the patients’ time while saving me time. Patients do not need to return for another appointment, and there are no temporaries that fall out-it is just one complete procedure.
I want high quality restorations with fit, strength and esthetics that are consistent on all of my restorations. The goal is to provide my patients with that while speeding up the process, and with PlanScan, I can do that. For higher level or more complex cases, I can still send them to the lab to continue delivering high quality restorations.
Q: Can you explain a little about how the technology of the PlanScan system has developed over the years?
A. When I first started, PlanScan used a red laser, took multiple photos and stitched them together. Now it uses a blue laser with a Thunderbolt connector. It’s like a high powered computer gaming system with full-streaming video.
PlanScan is the first thing in 30 years that has helped me control my lab expenses while not having to raise my rates because my lab prices have gone up. PlanScan puts me in a position that I can deliver high quality care and control expenses.
Q: What advantages are there to using PlanScan?
A. There are other systems out there and, in all fairness, dentists should evaluate all of them, but I believe PlanScan is the best. There is great company support, upgrades have all been available for modest fees and, as technology advances, you want a system where you don’t have to keep reinventing the wheel. They have made it affordable to remain current and upgrade.
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Even in the future, with advances in materials and other enhancements, I will not need to purchase a completely new system.
I wish I had pulled the switch sooner-I see PlanScan as nothing but positive, and it is probably the best piece of technology I have ever purchased for my dental office. There’s a little learning curve, but it really pays off.
By far, if you are a restorative dentist, I do not understand why you would not invest in CAD/CAM technology for your office.
Q: What resources are available to you to help you succeed?
A. Evaluate CAD/CAM dentistry and determine if it fits your needs. Planmeca has very good introductory and education programs. For those who are seriously considering CAD/CAM or interested in learning more, I would recommend attending a preview hands-on program. Once you see it and experience it, you will see it as a product you will definitely want to have in your practice.
Q: How has PlanScan impacted patient perception? And is there any impact on patient care?
A. From a marketing standpoint, a patient will come to you because, “Hey, I can get the restoration completed in one day.”
I think it improves patient care because they no longer need to come in for multiple visits. The beauty for the patient is dad is going to take the kids to their soccer game after his appointment. There’s no follow-up appointment. He makes the soccer game, and the restoration is complete.
This is the beauty of single-day visits. We explain the technology to them, and while they are waiting for the restoration to be milled out, they can email pictures to their friends.
Digital dentistry creates one of the best patient experiences. No longer do patients have to suffer with goop in their mouths-I’ve seen plenty of patients who are so thankful that they do not come remotely close to gagging any more. When most patients see this new technology, they are amazed by it.
I show young patients how it is done, and it is fascinating to them. They are intrigued and come to understand it. They say, “This is just so fascinating.” When they say things like that, you know they are telling their friends so ultimately this is also a practice builder, as well.
The PlanScan CAD/CAM Restoration System, designed by Planmeca and driven by E4D Technologies, can produce lab-quality restorations in hours instead of days with remarkable speed and accuracy, intuitive design software, on-site milling and no impressions or powder. The result of this system’s design is a vastly improved restorative process.
Watch the video below to learn more about the PlanScan: