• June 22, 2024

Why your clinic absolutely needs an intraoral scanner

For digital impressions, an intraoral scanner is an essential tool for streamlining clinic operations and enhancing patient satisfaction. As of right now, using intraoral 3D scanning can improve your job, simplify it, and raise the bar on your cleanliness standards.

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The most cutting-edge dental digital scanners are improving patient care, raising the bar for in-clinic cleanliness, and streamlining dentists’ operations. They are revolutionizing dentistry in the modern day.

But what exactly is an intraoral digital scanner? Why would one utilize an intraoral scanner? And just how might your clinic profit from a dental 3D scanner?

Describe intraoral scanners.

Digital dental scanners, also known as intraoral scanners, provide dentists with a digital substitute for the conventional analog impression-taking process.

Dental scanners come in a variety of brands and varieties, and while some of their features may vary, they all share the ability to do away with analog impressions, wax-ups, and the traditional manual fabrication processes involved in creating all-ceramic restorations.

What was the outcome? Because intraoral scanners facilitate quick lab turnaround times, they are increasingly becoming the preferred tool for dentists and patients. The National Library of Medicine notes that “patients seem to prefer intraoral scanning.” 3D teeth scanning can produce accurate 3D images in as little as a few seconds.

ADVANTAGES ADDITIONAL TO DIGITAL DENTAL SCANNERS

It’s crucial to remember that intraoral scanners are much more than just machines that scan and digitize your impressions.

“You can do so much more,” stated Dr. Ahmad Al-Hassiny, Director of the Institute of Digital Dentistry. For instance, we use the whole scanner and software set from crown and bridge, implants, and now 3D printed dentures in our offices. Everything is completed internally with exceptional accuracy and effectiveness.

In dental clinics, hygiene requirements have always been of utmost importance. It is necessary to handle several objects while using traditional imprint procedures, such as the tray, bite registration waxes, impression materials, and other related instruments. Digital impressions eliminate these handling concerns.

HOW IS THE INTERNAL SCANNER OPERATIONATED?

When the portable, pen-shaped scanner is inserted into a patient’s mouth and a light source is directed onto the desired scanning area, thousands of pictures are recorded by imaging sensors.

After processing those photos, scanning software creates a precise 3D surface model that displays the geometry of the teeth and gingiva. As you scan, this 3D model appears on your PC screen, and you can see it being created.

While most dental clinics may not have used digital mouth scanning before, the technology is well-established. “With the introduction of Computer-Aided Design/Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) in 1973, digital technology started to make its way into dental and orthodontic offices,” as stated by Isidora Christopoulou et al. in their work “Intraoral Scanners in Orthodontics: A Critical Review.”

The FDI World Dental Federation states that CAD/CAM dentistry has influenced and will continue to alter routine dental practice. New tools for digital impressions, computer-aided design, and fabrication with subtractive or additive manufacturing (such as laser sintering and 3D printing, including stereolithography) are used by dentists and laboratory technicians. These processes all depend on best practices to guarantee the quality of the finished product.

ARE DIGITAL OR ANALOG IMPRESSIONS MORE ACCURATE?

Although digital impressions and dental 3D imaging software can expedite the process and remove some stages from analog impression taking, what about the accuracy of intraoral scanners?

It should be mentioned that removing steps from the process itself improves accuracy because the likelihood of accidentally introducing human mistake or material faults increases with the number of processes needed. Accuracy is a metric used to quantify the quality of digital scans. On our blog, we’ve explained what accuracy is in detail as well as how it impacts your therapies.

These days, the precision of an intraoral scanner can match or surpass the findings obtained from analog impressions. Furthermore, a wealth of clinical research in this field supports this. When deciding which scanner is ideal for your needs, understanding how to analyze accuracy data from clinical trials is essential.

METHOD OF SELECTING AN INTRAORAL SCANNER?

According to Chandran et al.’s 2019 systematic review, Digital Versus Conventional Impressions in Dentistry: A Systematic Review, digital impressions from dental digital impression scanners are more accurate (in microns) than conventional impression taking, according to 67% of the studies (16 of 24), with 92% of the studies (22 of 24) demonstrating the same level of clinical acceptability as conventional.

Dental digital scanners come in a multitude of brands and models, offering an extensive array of features and advantages, and are now available in the market.

While some firms have been using the technology for more than ten years, others are quite new to it. These established manufacturers have been at the forefront of the industry with their several award-winning gadget generations.

Whether the goal is to digitize your lab process or to digitize your denture workflow, selecting the appropriate intraoral scanner technology for your clinic and specific professional demands is a crucial first step towards turning digital.

What are the patients’ thoughts on intraoral scanners?

Professionals utilizing a dental digital scanner may find it quite useful, but this is meaningless if patients find the process uncomfortable.

Referring back to the publication “Intraoral Scanners in Orthodontics: A Critical Review,” we may observe that patients not only accept oral scanners for dentistry, but they also frequently think they’re better than analog techniques.

Additionally, intraoral scanners performed better when it came to breathing difficulties, gag reflex, and comfort. Three research that looked at the phenomenon of gag reflex came to the conclusion that adopting digital techniques greatly reduces or eliminates it. “Smell/voice and taste/heat were shown to be better and more pleasant with digital impressions, with no gag reflex.”