Planmeca’s Commitment to UBC Dental Education and Patient Care

It was an unseasonably cold night on March 9th, 2005 that included a light dusting of snow on UBC Point Grey campus. Through large picture windows facing Wesbrook Mall, ceremonial shot glasses filled with Finnish vodka were raised and a toast lead by Mr. Heikki Kyöstilä, Founder, Owner, and President of Planmeca, celebrating the opening of the new Nobel Biocare Oral Health Centre and a new partnership between UBC Dentistry and Planmeca.

Mr. Heikki Kyöstilä

Founded by Mr. Kyöstilä in 1971, Planmeca started in Helsinki, Finland as a small-scale business, manufacturing dental stools and instrument cabinets, but quickly adopted a global sales approach and expanded its product range into patient chairs, dental units and now also 2D and 3D imaging devices, CAD/CAM products and software solutions.  As the largest privately-owned dental equipment manufacturer in the world, the affiliation between Planmeca and UBC Dentistry began in the early 2000’s with discussions in the co-development of designing the most technologically advanced electronically integrated dental operatory of its time.

Occupying 39,000 square feet, the Nobel Biocare Oral Health Centre houses 144 of the Planmeca UBC Compact I Dental Care Chair Units that provides a unique integrated educational environment including computer patient positioning to optimize student operator’s vision of the intraoral working field, enhanced ergonomics and a technologically advanced clinical environment optimization of dental education and patient care.

Now, 16 years later, Planmeca continues their legacy as a long-term partner with support of two monumental strategic projects that will augment UBC Faculty of Dentistry’s position as a leader in dental education.

Last year, UBC Dentistry announced plans for a new simulation and digital dentistry laboratory that will transformative for our DMD and DHDP student learning environment providing exposure to state-of-the art emerging technologies to learn advancing dental clinical procedures.

This June, UBC Supply Management & Infrastructure Development awarded the equipment contract for the simulation and digital dentistry laboratory to Planmeca through an open competitive process. Through their vision for innovation and technologically advanced design, Planmeca worked diligently to maximize the unique allotted space within the John B Macdonald building for the project ensuring solution based efficiency that will serve our students in their education. In addition, as part of Planmeca’s strong commitment to the success of this new initiative, the company gifted over $2.8M in equipment and a special educational purchase discount.

“At Planmeca, we truly value our inspiring and rewarding cooperation with UBC, which goes all the way back to 2005. Our open dialogue with their prestigious education facility has brought us invaluable insights on the evolving needs and skills of future dentists. Our products never stop developing, and for us, being able to test new innovations with a trusted partner is crucial. It serves us as a manufacturer, it serves the university, and most importantly, it serves dental students and their future patients. Together, we can continue to explore new ground-breaking ideas and bring them into practice.” — Heikki Kyöstilä, Founder, Owner, and President of Planmeca

In addition to the new simulation and digital dentistry laboratory project, the Faculty was also planning for a pending need to update the Nobel Biocare Oral Health Centre over the next 2-3 years. Working with the Planmeca team, the Faculty was able to implement a detailed plan that includes new operating lights, upholstery, instrument review, medical grade monitors and computer software (Romexis). This upgrade would augment the useable lifespan of the dental chairs by an additional 10-12 years for our students.  However, the cost to upgrade the entire 144 chair units in OHC is significant, estimated to have a retail value of $9M, and not within the scope of the Faculty’s operational budget.

“The Nobel Biocare Oral Health Centre (OHC) clinic chair upgrade project will be like having a brand new clinic again! This process allows us to have new and updated features with our chairs, addressing the challenge to replace discontinued parts while also incorporating cutting-edge technology. This will have such a wonderful effect on patient care and student experience at OHC.” — Dr. Andrea Esteves, Clinic Director & Associate Dean, Clinical Affairs

Once again, through a shared passion of exceptional dental education and patient care, Planmeca provided an extraordinary opportunity for UBC Faculty of Dentistry to achieve a full clinical chair upgrade of all 144 dental units with an additional gift of over $3M in equipment and special educational pricing.

“The UBC Faculty of Dentistry is extremely proud of our long-term partnership with Planmeca. Mr. Heikki Kyöstilä, as President of Planmeca, is once again making incredible gifts that will be instrumental in empowering UBC Dentistry to continue our strategic vision as trailblazers in dental education. Their combined gift in excess of $6M is the largest single donation in the history of UBC Faculty of Dentistry, topping the previous gift by more than $1M. The simulation units for our new Simulation and Digital Dentistry Laboratory, and the clinical chair upgrade in the Nobel Biocare Oral Health Centre will provide cutting edge technologies and facilities to enhance our student learning and facilitate patient care.” — Dean and Professor, Dr. Mary MacDougall

Thinking back to that special evening marking the opening of the Nobel Biocare Oral Health Centre and the clinking of glasses as Mr. Heikki Kyöstilä joyously voiced ‘kippis’ it only seems fitting for this Finnish version of the toast ‘cheers’ to be celebrated once again.

Thank you Planmeca to your vision, your partnership, your generosity and your ongoing passion.