What Makes an Intraoral Scanner Accurate?

Manufacturers of intraoral scanners often use the terms “true,” “precise” and “accurate” interchangeably to describe their scanners, but what role do these concepts play in digital impressions and the final restoration or appliance? In fact, according to a recent study, “Accuracy of four intraoral scanners in oral implantology: a comparative in vitro study,”1 published by the scientific journal BMC Oral Health, for an intraoral scanner to be considered accurate it needs both trueness and precision.

Trueness and Precision Graphic

Trueness refers to whether a measurement matches the actual quantity being measured, while precision indicates the ability of that measurement to be consistently repeated. Therefore, for a scanner to be called accurate it must deliver consistent results, even when it is used to obtain different measurements of the same object. In this way, an intraoral scanner should detect all impression details and generate a virtual 3D model that is as close to the initial rendering as possible. 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

Scanning Shiny Surfaces

If you’re using an intraoral scanner to take digital impressions, then you already know their many benefits. However, it’s always good to have a few tricks up your sleeve when using new technology. Often when scanning shiny surfaces, such as a metal restoration, bracket or abutment, you may notice an overly bright area (or “hotspot”) on your scan. Not to worry, in this video I share a few easy tips for scanning reflective surfaces and getting the perfect scan to complete your digital impression.

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Using an Intraoral Scanner to Fabricate Custom Abutments

Intraoral scanning is another way digital workflows are used in dentistry. To create custom abutments with a digital scanner, attach a scan body (compatible with your implant system) and scan like you would a prepped tooth. The digital impression is sent to the lab and the lab software orients the implant fixture according to the scan body position. The lab then designs the final abutment, mills it and can either send a model of the final abutment to fabricate a restoration or mill both crown and abutment digitally. The benefits of the digital workflow are less mess, less time and streamlined restorations. As you wade into digital workflows makes sure you have parts and pieces that are compatible with your implant system.

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Using CAD/CAM to Provide Excellent Customer Service

When it comes to traditional impressions, I look at it from a customer service perspective. Impressions are time-consuming, messy, uncomfortable and don’t do much for improving doctor/patient relationships. However, as an orthodontist, impressions are a necessity for almost every patient who walks through my door.

I wanted way to set my practice apart; eliminate messy alginate impressions; and cut back on wait times for receiving appliances from labs. I’ve done that by pairing an intraoral scanner with a 3D printer right in my office. I’m now able to offer my patients the kind of customer experience they’ve come to expect in this modern, digital world. Continue reading