Dental hygienist Heini Kauppi has been working for the Medident dental clinic, located in the centre of Helsinki, for 13 years. The clinic, specialised in aesthetic dentistry, orthodontics and dental implantology, is equipped with a vast array of Planmeca solutions, ranging from intraoral scanners and dental care units to imaging devices and software.
”At Medident, you get to work with big and interesting cases. Creating those Hollywood smiles, that’s what we do,” says dental hygienist Heini Kauppi. ”I’m also in charge of our clinic’s dental supply selection, so my job is really versatile. I could never spend my workdays just removing plaque from morning till night.”
The dental clinic, founded and managed by Dr. Seppo Lindroos, employs two dentists and two dental hygienists. The clinic is equipped with a Planmeca Sovereign® dental unit, a Planmeca Emerald™ intraoral scanner, a Planmeca ProMax® 2D imaging unit, and a Planmeca ProScanner® imaging plate scanner, all brought together by the Planmeca Romexis® software platform.
An easy transition to digital dentistry
Kauppi has been using the Planmeca Emerald intraoral scanner for about a year now. Even though she had no previous experience in taking digital impressions, she found the transition easy. ”As I see it, dentists, nurses and hygienists are already used to working through a mirror, so working through a monitor while scanning is easy to learn.”
For patients, intraoral scanning is a much more comfortable experience than having conventional impressions taken. ”Especially if the patient has a strong gag reflex, it’s easy to pause the scanning so that the patient can breathe for a while. Even if you’re using the fastest impression materials available, a traditional impression takes at least two minutes. It’s a long time if you feel like you’re about to choke. It’s also standard procedure to take two precision impressions in a row, so the process takes twice as much time.”
Kauppi points out that the most practical part of taking digital impressions is that you can check the quality of the impression yourself. This way, return deliveries from the dental laboratory and additional patient recalls can be avoided.
”Patients are usually really relaxed about having an intraoral scan taken. They don’t even think of it as an actual procedure, since no water is used and none of that unpleasant noise associated with dental procedures can be heard. They also like to see their own teeth on the screen.”
Planmeca Romexis® - a logical tool for designing surgical guides
As part of her work, Kauppi also designs surgical guides in the Planmeca Romexis software together with Dr. Lindroos. The software’s image transfer service is also in daily use.
The software is straightforward and simple to use, she says. ”Even if you can’t remember exactly where a certain function is located, you can usually find it quickly just by clicking on the icons.”
Substance over form
Kauppi believes that one of Planmeca’s greatest assets as an equipment manufacturer is the ability to design easy-to-use devices that enable a logical workflow.
”Engineers often have a tendency to design devices for themselves. The outcome might be really fancy, but at the end of the day, we are dental care professionals, not engineers. That’s why it’s important that the equipment is not complicated. We are first and foremost interested in information – not in the colour in which the information is displayed. The fewer features, the better.”
In addition, adopting new technology doesn’t come as naturally to all generations. ”Those born in the digital era haven’t showed up to work yet,” Kauppi says, laughing.
Learning through trial and error
To those learning to use new equipment, Kauppi has one advice: ”When, for example, learning how to use new software, don’t be afraid to click around and explore. There’s always a way back. I’ve never managed to mess up a software program in an irreversible way, nor have I ever broken a device during my career. You learn through trial and error.”
Copy: Hanna Korlin
Images: Dino Azinur