What Can Intraoral Scanners Do?

By David Claridge, CAD/CAM Product Specialist

Long, long ago (during the Gypsum Age), arriving on the silicone and polyether shores of merry England, was the first intraoral impression scanner. It was wheeled ashore behind a dozen horses and handed to a caveman called Claridge. He was the Product Specialist for a unit that shall not be named (unless to say it was tethered to a cumbersome trolley. Claridge drove up and down the country in a special car with ramp access to his little Trojan Horse strapped in the back, and preached to any who would listen about the benefits of digital impressioning.

But the good dentists of the land asked lots of “can it do [fill in the blank]?” questions. These questions are still asked today, but there is a palpable shift that marks the development and adoption of intraoral scanners. So while Claridge was going around gathering ‘can it do’ questions, little hobbits at Carestream Dental were listening to this voice of customer feedback and taking notice. The answers to these questions fell into three categories… “Yes,” “No,” and “Not today.” You see, change happens, and has happened. In those early days, the great majority of replies were either “No” or “Not yet.”

Today, the vast majority of the ‘can it do’ questions I now receive are answered with a resounding “Yes it can!” Can it scan without powder? Can I send my scan anywhere i.e. is it truly open? Is it in HD colour? Can I store digital study models and re-import if I need them? Can I move it from room to room, over several floors? Can it scan implant scan bodies? Can I mark the margins? Can I use it for partial dentures, splints, retainers, aligners, crowns, bridges? Yes! YES!! YES!!! Continue reading

The Future of Digital Dentistry is Open, Faster and Smaller

By Jan Einfeldt
Clinical Director of Staplehurst Dental Practice

What’s important to patients is also important to dentists and vice versa. We all benefit from efficient processes that enhance comfort, accuracy and minimise stress.

From the patient’s perspective, dental impressions haven’t traditionally offered the most pleasant experience. The availability of digital intraoral scanners has changed this drastically, providing a much more comfortable alternative[i]. For dentists, intraoral scanners offer many benefits in addition to encouraging patient satisfaction. They also have the potential to enhance the professional workflow, simplifying the impression-taking process and making everything from capture to storage of impressions easier. Plus, you can’t lose digital impressions like you can in the post or in filing cabinets.

The simple fact is that not all of us are great at taking impressions. Slight movement or a momentarily lapse in concentration can cause a less-than-perfect impression. The intraoral scanner increases the accuracy of the impression significantly[ii] and studies have found that trueness and precision[iii] can vary from scanner to scanner. As quality of the impression now depends on correct use of the scanner rather than experience with materials, we could soon see other members of the team taking impressions, instead of the dentist. Continue reading

How Intraoral Scanning Brings Consistency to Your Oral Surgery Clinical Outcomes

The benefit of intraoral scanning has a little to do with easy impression capture and a lot to do with better clinical outcomes.

When oral health professionals incorporate a 3D HD intraoral scanner into their implant workflow, they can create their treatment plans virtually and execute them with more proficiency. The resulting outcomes are consistently more accurate and precise.

Read this white paper to explore the various ways that intraoral scanning facilitates oral surgery procedures. It examines:

  • Surgical uses of intraoral scanners
  • Conventional versus digital impressions in the implant workflow
  • Scanning for a standard abutment or a scanbody
  • Digital workflow for the lab
  • Scanning for guided surgery
  • Advantages of intraoral scanning
  • Return on investment

Intraoral Scanners: What They Could Mean for Your Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Practice also explores the benefits to be gained: enhanced communication with referrals, better outcomes for patients, greater patient loyalty and a healthier bottom line.

Download the whitepaper to discover how intraoral scanning can maximize the overall efficiency of oral surgical procedures:

 

Trueness vs. Precision—What’s the Difference?

Many manufacturers tout the trueness, or accuracy, of a digital intraoral scanner in the same breath as precision. While both are important features of any scanner, the two concepts are not interchangeable. According to a recent study1 published in PLOS ONE, an online scientific journal, “an intraoral scanner should possess high trueness…but also high precision.” Let’s take a look at the difference between the terms and why both are vital for the best digital impressions.

First, trueness is a scanner’s ability to scan an object and replicate it as closely as possible to the original item—in this case, teeth, gingiva, abutments, etc. The more accurate the scanner, the more likely the digital impression on the screen will mirror the patient’s actual teeth. Precision, on the other hand, is a scanner’s ability to produce the same results consistently. If you picture a target, an accurate shot would mean the arrow hit the bullseye; or at least came incredibly close. Precise shooting would result in a grouping of several arrows close together, though not necessarily near the bullseye.

Example of accuracy and precision on a bullseye Continue reading

Millennials, Minor League Baseball and Mouth Guards

IMG_6789As the oral surgeon for the Rockland Boulders, a minor Canadian/American league baseball team based in Pomona, NY, I am dedicated to ensuring the players’ oral health. As part of this responsibility, I recently visited the team’s stadium to capture digital impressions in order to fabricate mouth guards.

Dental injuries are the most common type of facial injury sustained while playing sports, which makes properly designed mouth guards a necessity for injury prevention. In fact, one study estimates that mouth guards prevent approximately 200,000 injuries each year in high school and collegiate football alone. Using a highly accurate digital impression to produce a custom mouth guard promotes stability, proper fit and ease of breathing—and can ultimately help prevent concussions and dentofacial injuries.

To capture digital impressions for the team, I used an intraoral scanner that can be plugged via USB into the laptop—making it easy to pack in my car and bring to the stadium. When I arrived, the team members were ready to be scanned.

As true millenials, the players were impressed by the digital technology and liked seeing the images show up instantly on the screen; in fact, some of them called their teammates into the room to check it out. Continue reading

Announcing the Newest Generation of Intraoral Scanners at the Chicago Midwinter Press Event (Video)

Whether they are used for restorative, orthodontic or implant cases, intraoral scanners are continuing to grow in popularity. And, as their use increases, so does the demand for more intuitive technology.

Keeping in line with the need for a smarter intraoral scanner, Carestream Dental announced the launch of its newest scanner: the CS 3600. Watch the video from the Chicago Midwinter press event below to learn more about the scanner’s unique features, including continuous scanning capabilities, an Intelligent Matching system and high-definition full HD 3D images. Continue reading

Making a Bad Impression: A Step-by-Step Guide for Traditional Impressions

If you’re an avid reader of the blog, you’re sure to know the benefits of intraoral scanners and digital impressions. Intraoral scanners are less messy than traditional impressions; require fewer consumables; provide a more comfortable experience for patients; help practices build better relationships with labs; and result in faster turnaround from scan to appliance or restoration. But, in the spirit of being balanced, we’ve decided to focus on how to take traditional impressions for a change… Continue reading

Building Better Relationships with Labs through Digital Impressions

Doctors and labs alike know that fabricating crowns and other appliances from traditional impressions can be challenging. With shipping delays, inaccurate stone model preparation, temperature fluctuations, expansion and shrinkage of materials—the results can lead to remakes, not to mention frustrated labs, doctors and patients. However, digital impressions eliminate these issues, allowing labs to reduce their remakes; manage cases online; and decrease their turnaround times, while facilitating stronger, more amiable relationships with practices.

First, when doctors use an intraoral digital scanner to capture impressions, they eliminate the need for traditional impression materials. Doing away with physical stone models means no more scheduling pick-up and drop-off times with couriers; waiting for shipments to arrive; and no more models broken en route. Instead of shipping stone models, digital images captured by a scanner are either emailed to a lab to be designed and milled, or doctors can design the restoration in-house and send the STL files for milling only. Plus, advanced acquisition software allows doctors to view scans in monochrome to allow them to see what the lab will be viewing in its design software. This creates a better perspective for doctor/lab communication. Continue reading

The Many Uses for Digital Scanners in the Field of OMS

I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz around intraoral scanners from general dentists and orthodontists— computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing, or CAD/CAM, technology is changing dentistry—but how does this cutting-edge technology relate to your practice as an oral surgeon? Let me share with you a few of the ways that I have integrated digital scanning into my practice.

First, a little background: intraoral scanners take the place of conventional or analog impressions. Instead of trays, alginate or polyvinyl and pouring molds, the scanner captures digital images of a patient’s teeth, which are available almost instantly on a computer screen. These image files are then shared with a lab to create models. Also, digital scanners are small and lightweight and the more sophisticated scanners can be simply unplugged from a laptop and taken from operatory to operatory. Continue reading

Investing in Digital Impression Technology for Your Orthodontic Practice

You’ve probably heard that computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) is rapidly advancing in the field of orthodontics. The most valuable CAD/CAM tool that an orthodontist could introduce to their practice is an intraoral scanner: but is it worth it? There is no doubt numerous benefits to both the doctor and patient, but let’s talk hard numbers and the all-important return on investment of such a purchase. Continue reading