Is the Digital Implant Workflow the Right Fit for Your Practice?
At this point, you don’t need to be told that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruptions in dental practices across the U.S. ADA and state dental associations have urged dental offices to treat only emergency cases, while some state and local governments have mandated it. With federal social distancing guidelines in effect until (at least) April 30, dental practices will inevitably feel financial pain from the downtime.
There’s no doubt this current situation is a setback; however, it’s important to remember that the pain is temporary. Your practice routine will get back to normal one day, and the day-to-day grind of restorative dentistry will resume. Before it does, use this time to research solutions that can propel your practice forward.
For many, same-day restorative dentistry and the opportunity to bring the implant placement workflow in-house have been aspirational goals. They require investment in time and money. Dentists have real concerns and questions:
•Where do I start and what equipment do I need?
•What are the advantages of some equipment over others?
•What’s the learning curve like for my staff?
•How will I see a return on investment (ROI)?
A recent e-book “The Ideal Fit for A Digital Implant Workflow” answers these questions and more. It begins with a straightforward message: you don’t have to feel pressured to take an all-or-nothing approach to digital dentistry. It’s possible to “dip a toe” before taking the dive. For some dentists, taking a more conservative approach is the right fit.
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Dentists previously faced 2 barriers to implementing new technologies: cost of acquisition and staff training. That’s changing as digital technologies become more commonplace in general dentistry practices. Pricing is becoming more competitive and dental technology companies are developing excellent education to help practices succeed.
Planmeca is among those companies, and introduced its Planmeca FIT system as a solution that not only puts same-day restorative dentistry within reach, but also makes it possible to branch out into the implant workflow.
The Planmeca FIT system consists of 3 key components. The Planmeca Emerald S digital intraoral scanner combines hyper-speed image capture with excellent diagnostic capabilities in a lightweight, easy-to-use unit; PlanCAD software, part of the Planmeca Romexis platform, provides a single software to manage the entire digital workflow; and the Planmeca PlanMill 30 S offers a 4-axis, high-speed spindle with milling speeds reaching 80,000 RPMs and is ideal for single-visit restorations and milling of inlays, onlays, crowns, and bridges.
You can take an incremental approach to adopting these technologies. If you’re a general dentist and you’re not ready to design your own restoration, you may want to hold off on purchasing a mill and take an important first step by investing in a digital intraoral scanner. When an implant is ready for restoration, you can scan the upper, lower, scan body, and bite. You can then send the data to your favorite lab or partner like TruAbutment for a restorative design and custom abutment solution.
Many dentists find that a custom abutment solution is ideal in terms of workflow and efficiency. TruAbutment delivers the custom abutment and either sends the restoration file to the dentist to mill in-house, or delivers the custom abutment and final restoration together as in a scan-and-send workflow.
“Planmeca has worked hard to make user education the easiest of any system out there,” said Dr. William Flora, an Indiana dentist who shares his digital journey in the e-book. “The 30 S mill works just as well as the larger mill. Even if you don’t want to mill the crowns in the office, you can still go with the Emerald S scanner. Planmeca offers multiple ways to enter the digital field depending on your comfort level.”
Dr. Flora has practiced on the cutting-edge of dental technology throughout his career, and he recently upgraded his CBCT unit to Planmeca ProMax 3D Mid. With Planmeca Romexis software as a central platform, he has brought the entire digital implant workflow in-house. However, he does rely on Planmeca’s partnership with TruAbutment to improve efficiency.
“The custom abutment fits perfectly and drops right in. TruAbutment is definitely a great service,” he added.
The question remains: does the digital implant workflow fit your practice? Learn more and see these workflows in action by downloading the e-book.