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Planmeca PlanScan Produces Lab Quality Restorations in Hours

Issue: Spring 2015
Terrance Yacovitch, DDS

planmeca-family-220x220.jpg Planmeca PlanScan Produces Lab Quality Restorations in Hours

I was a seasoned CAD/CAM dentist, having already completed about 4,000 restorations, when I began using the E4D system about three years ago. I was looking not only for a powder-free system but also a system with open architecture. Since then, I have taken the wonderful voyage with Henry Schein, E4D Technologies, and now I’m using Planmeca’s PlanScan.

User-Friendly Features

When investigating powder-free scanners, we looked at the CEREC because we were already using the Sirona system. The most important limitation was that CEREC was not an “open format” .stl file system, continuing to use a proprietary “closed format” .cdt file system. Labs want open format so they don’t have to pay extra licensing or per-use fees for model-rendering/data translation to their desired .stl file formats. Open format .stl is universal. We chose Planmeca’s PlanScan, for many other reasons too. While not all of our cases involve CAD/CAM fabrication, we select cases we know we can do with a high degree of excellence because we know our great tech partners can help us. We can cut transfer time and costs all around by using PlanScan and the DDX digital data transfer portal, to send highly accurate data quickly to our lab partners. They assess the data files, render models in their chosen design software, and even coach us before the patient leaves the chair if they need further information.

Seeing is believing, seeing is learning and seeing enhances results.

Intuitive Software

PlanScan’s design software is so straightforward and logical. It takes into consideration the “triangles of accuracy,” the actual physics of the captured details. And the open architecture is key. Although we mill about 80% of our CAD/CAM restorations in the office, the other 20% involve the laboratory – particularly zirconia restorations – because we don’t have a sintering furnace in-house. And sometimes we just want the input and design expertise of our master technicians. The open architecture simplifies communication with all of our labs.

Pleasing Demanding Patients

PlanScan is especially helpful for very particular patients. It’s great to design restorations while they watch, adjusting the nuances of every tooth in their smile. They appreciate participating, watching, coaching, and selecting, all in one appointment.

A Family Affair

I teach and consult practices on the successful use of digital impressioning and CAD/CAM technology. My wife Suzanne Bechard-Yacovitch is the Digital Team Integration specialist. We tell our clients what we’ve experienced. “As soon as you start scanning digital impressions, you become a better clinician because you see in full three dimensions exactly what our art, i.e., the prep, really looks like magnified up to 100 times. Seeing is believing, seeing is learning and seeing enhances results.” Scanning and all that Planmeca’s PlanScan brings to our practice has been revolutionary. It’s better for patients, doctors, team members, and lab technicians. It makes my job fun and a joy.

About the Author:


Dr. Yacovitch completed his Sciences DEC at McGill University in 1972, where he continued on to complete his B.Sc. in Chemistry in 1975, and then his DDS in 1979. Invited to be a Clinical Demonstrator and Lecturer on graduating, Dr. Yacovitch participated in the program developing student dentists at McGill for 16 years. He is a national and international lecturer, author, coach, mentor, and an active member of many organizations worldwide, including The Academy of Computerized Dentistry of North America (Board Member 2006-2007) and The Academy of CAD/CAM Dentistry (Board Member 2007-2010). He has a comprehensive private practice in Montreal, Quebec.