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After starting out by performing dental surgery freehand, Dr. Zachary Evans now says he could not live without Planmeca Romexis 3D Implant Guide software. (Photograph: Planmeca)

Digital dentistry has revolutionized dental surgery

By Planmeca
July 22, 2019

HELSINKI, Finland: Dr. Zachary Evans is a periodontist and assistant professor in the Department of Stomatology at the College of Dental Medicine of the Medical University of South Carolina. After starting out by performing dental surgery freehand, he switched to surgical guides and has not looked back. He now uses the Planmeca Romexis 3D Implant Guide software daily and says he could not live without it.

Evans discovered his passion for dentistry while he was working toward a PhD in biomedical science. He realized that in order to become successful he needed specialized clinical training and eagerly pursued this. For him, periodontics was the perfect match—a great combination of artistry and biology.

Evans started out by performing dental implant surgery freehand but, through experience and experimentation together with his colleagues, he started to explore the possibilities of digital dentistry. Throughout his journey, he has been continually impressed with how significantly the digitalization of dentistry has affected his practice in a positive way. According to Evans, digital dentistry has become the most important and the most useful tool in his practice. “Digital workflows improve the quality of planning and execution of my implant cases. This results in easier treatment and better outcomes for my patients,” he said.

Planmeca’s software platform is the perfect tool for digital dentistry

Universities often have access to the latest advancements in technology, and the Medical University of South Carolina is no exception. Evans and his colleagues have experimented with various new technologies over the years but find themselves returning, time after time, to the Planmeca system. According to Evans, the Planmeca system is not only powerful and user-friendly but can also deliver incredible results in the education environment.

Evans feels that the most significant advantage of the Planmeca platform is the ability of the Romexis software to integrate everything seamlessly without compromising on usability. The platform integrates imaging, intraoral scans and CBCT scans, and is able to translate the images into high-quality clinical plans that can be executed restoratively or surgically. “The Romexis software is an open platform but also bridges everything together, which is really unique,” he said.

For Evans, the most important tool currently on hand is the Romexis 3D Implant Guide software module. “It allows me to create a virtual implant design and then produce a surgical guide in-house. I use this workflow for every implant I do and I am constantly amazed at the quality of the outcomes. It is the one tool I use on a daily basis and could not live without.”

Digital dentistry is advancing rapidly

Evans is also impressed with the hyperspeed Planmeca Emerald S intraoral scanner, one of the novel products on offer from Planmeca. “It is a powerful scanner that can help both experienced users and novices, providing them with premium usability and great diagnostic capabilities,” he stated.

Another fascinating innovation that he mentions is the upcoming dynamic surgical navigation that will be available for the Planmeca dental units equipped with the new intelligent Planmeca Solanna Vision operating light. “The technology enables predictable implant placement without some of the commitments associated with surgical guide production. The Planmeca Solanna system is built into the operatory unit and therefore does not require additional equipment. It is an elegant solution. I am really excited to see that coming out and to be able to experiment with it myself.”

The extent and speed at which digital dentistry and CAD/CAM are currently evolving is almost breathtaking. Evans said he can relate to those practitioners who feel it is challenging to keep up with all the advancements. On the one hand, he understands that they may feel as though manufacturers are creating tools more quickly than practitioners can identify ways in which they can benefit from them. On the other hand, he said that this is a very exciting time to be in dentistry. “For example, 3D printing and the ability to create restorations—both temporary and final—chairside is incredible. With the improved time of treatment, we can offer dental solutions faster and more economically. This provides a better experience for the patient, as well as better clinical outcomes. I cannot wait to see what is coming next.”

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