Planmeca President Heikki Kyöstilä: Continuing education and cutting-edge technology recipe for successNew technologies and digitalisation are revolutionising dental care as we know it, and aesthetic dentistry is also feeling the change. Digital smile design and chairside CAD/CAM solutions are just some of the exciting new tools which have emerged in recent years, and consumer interest in aesthetic restorations is on the rise as well. Here, Planmeca founder and President Heikki Kyöstilä describes his thoughts on the present and future of aesthetic dentistry.
Where do you see aesthetic dentistry currently standing?
“Aesthetic dentistry is a fascinating and fast-growing field within dental care right now. Oral health has always been an important part of overall health, but in recent years a rising middle class in many parts of the world has become increasingly concerned with the appearance of their teeth. Discolouration, malocclusion and old dental fillings are just some of the concerns in this area which can have a tremendous impact on a person’s confidence and overall wellbeing, and a beautiful and healthy smile is now something people are ready to invest in.”
This year, Finland has been celebrating the 100th anniversary of its independence. What is its significance to Planmeca?
Throughout its 100-year history, Finland has shown that there is something to be said for hard work and determination. In a mere century, Finland has risen from a small Nordic country to an international pioneer of education, high technology and design, and we are honoured to have been part of this journey. Planmeca has been headquartered in Finland since the founding of the company in 1971, and most our production remains in Helsinki to this day. The centennial has really highlighted the scientific and technological expertise that is to be found here, and although we are an international company through and through, we are proud of our Finnish roots and what our country has accomplished.”
What are Planmeca’s solutions for aesthetic dentistry?
“Owing to the nature of the field, a big part of achieving a successful treatment outcome is good communication with the patient. Digital smile design software such as Planmeca Romexis® Smile Design enables planning the forthcoming treatment visually and in co-operation with the patient. With Planmeca Romexis Smile Design, dentists can design a digital mock-up of the patient’s teeth which can then be modified according to the patient’s wishes. By including the patient in the design process, the end result is likely to meet their expectations in a way which saves time and increases patient satisfaction.
At the same time, dental patients today do not merely expect results that are better, but results that are faster. Consequently, CAD/CAM solutions which enable same-day restorations are becoming more and more popular. Planmeca offers a complete range of CAD/CAM products for scanning, designing and milling dental restorations in the office. Alongside our Planmeca PlanCAD® software and Planmeca PlanMill® milling units, we’re now pleased to introduce our new lightweight, fast and phenomenally accurate Planmeca Emerald™ intraoral scanner, for which the first reviews have been spectacular.
Last, but not least, I have to mention our subsidiary LM-Dental’s exquisite LM-Arte range of hand instruments for aesthetic restorations. The innovative instruments have been developed in co-operation with Style Italiano, a group of dental professionals who specialise in aesthetic dentistry. The high quality material and colour-coded handles make LM-Arte instruments the ideal solution for aesthetic restorative procedures.”
In 2015, Planmeca also partnered with the University of Turku to launch the Nordic Institute of Dental Education. What can NIDE offer aesthetic dentistry?
“NIDE offers high-quality continuing education courses to dental professionals from anywhere in the world. NIDE’s aesthetic dentistry courses familiarise participants with the latest techniques and materials, including smile design and digital treatment planning, discuss minimally invasive treatment concepts and include hands-on workshops where participants can try new concepts, technologies and materials for themselves. At the same time, NIDE also offers courses in e.g. CAD/CAM, implantology and 3D imaging which can also benefit the aesthetic dentist. Naturally, which course is right for you depends on where you’re looking to expand your knowledge, but I’m confident that NIDE has something for everybody.”
What do you expect to see at this year’s ESCD Annual Meeting in Zagreb?
“Dentistry and dental technology have evolved so much in the last decade it’s really quite staggering. Digital solutions, 3D technology and CAD/CAM have completely revolutionised what we can do for people’s oral health. It goes without saying that such developments have consequences for aesthetic dentistry as well. At this year’s ESCD Meeting, I expect we will see exciting presentations and workshops on how these new technologies and solutions can be utilised in treatment, treatment planning and patient communication. We are happy to be a Platinum Sponsor of this year’s meeting and I’m confident that visitors of the event will return to their practices with something new to implement in their everyday work.”
How do you see the future of aesthetic dentistry?
“The landscape of dentistry is constantly shifting, but one thing which seems clear is that 3D technology, digital smile design and same-day treatments are here to stay. With the steady emergence of new technologies and their applications, it is important that dentists specialising in aesthetic treatments keep up with these developments through continuing education. Meanwhile, there is a growing interest in aesthetic restorations which is showing no signs of declining anytime soon. As a result, I think the future looks bright for aesthetic dentistry. With high expertise, the right technology and a growing demand, the industry has all the ingredients for success.”
Text by: Aleksandra Nyholm/Planmeca