Digital Dentistry Has Revolutionised Dental Surgery


Dr. Zach Evans is a periodontist and Assistant Professor at the Medical University of South Carolina. After starting out performing dental surgery free-hand, he switched to surgical guides and has not looked back. Dr. Evans now uses the Planmeca Romexis® 3D Implant Guide software daily and says he could not live without it.

Dr. Zach Evans is a well-respected periodontist and an internationally renowned lecturer, who discovered his passion for dentistry while he was working towards his PhD in Biomedical Science. He realised that in order to become successful he needed and wanted specialised clinical training. For him, periodontics was the perfect match – a great combination of artistry and biology.

Dr. Evans started out performing dental implant surgery free-hand, but through experience and experimentation along with his colleagues, he started to explore the possibilities of digital dentistry. Throughout his journey, he has been continually impressed with how significantly the digitalisation of dentistry has impacted his practice — in a positive way. According to Dr. Evans, digital dentistry has become the biggest and most useful tool. “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 says.

Planmeca’s unique all-in-one software platform is the perfect tool for digital dentistry workflow

Universities often have access to the latest advancements in technology, and the Medical University of South Carolina is no exception. Dr. Zach 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 Dr. Evans, the Planmeca system is not only powerful and user-friendly but can also deliver incredible results in the education environment as well.

Dr. Evans feels that the most significant advantage of the Planmeca platform of technology is the ability of the Planmeca Romexis® software to integrate everything seamlessly together, without compromising 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 says.

For Dr. Evans, the most important tool currently 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 advancing rapidly

Out of Planmeca’s product novelties, Dr. Zach Evans is also impressed with the hyper-speed Planmeca Emerald™S intraoral scanner. “It is a powerful scanner that can help both experienced users and novices, providing them with premium usability and great diagnostic capabilities,” he states.

Another fascinating innovation 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 in to 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 CAM/CAM are evolving at the moment is almost breathtaking. Dr. Evans says he can relate to those practitioners who feel it is challenging to keep up with all the advancements. On one hand, he understands it may feel as if the dental technology manufacturers are creating tools almost faster than the practitioners come up with ways they can benefit from them or use them. On the other hand, he says this is a really 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.”

Dr. Zach Evans completed his PhD in Biomedical Science, dental training, and residency in periodontics at the Medical University of South Carolina, and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the MUSC Department of Stomatology, Division of Periodontics. Dr. Evans is the director of the Master of Science in Dentistry program and is actively engaged in research relating to dental implant and CAD/CAM technologies. He lectures internationally on the incorporation of digital systems into surgical and implant practice. He was also one of the speakers at the Planmeca stand at IDS 2019 in Cologne, Germany. In his presentation, he presented the complete digital implant workflow through clinical cases, focusing on guided implant surgery.