Dental Scanners: A Brief History and Emerging Trends

When dental scanners were first introduced in the late 1980s, there were clear signs this technology would become a superior alternative to the practice of taking traditional impressions. Digital impressions are less invasive, more comfortable for patients, and eliminate the need for extensive space required for storing physical molds and files.

As technology continued to fulfill these promises, dental scanners began to dominate orthodontic and restorative markets as affordable alternatives to traditional impressions, a trend that continues to the present time.

Now Available
Leading dental scanner manufacturers have made significant strides in innovating the intraoral scanning experience for the operator as well as the patient. In a crowded space, manufacturers are vying for the spotlight, differentiating themselves with open systems, integrated, advanced diagnostic tools, improved speed, accuracy, and an overall improved experience.

Emerging Trends
As more and more dental professionals adopt digital impressions over traditional methods, the dental scanner market will continue to evolve and innovate. Leading manufacturers such as iTero and Medit are closely following user feedback, listening to how dental practices use their devices. As a result, here are some of the emerging trends in dental scanning.

Chairside visualization for treatment acceptance: Most intraoral scanners on the market today include a portable monitor, either with a cart-style or a laptop configuration. Generating and sharing high-quality scans is critical to making the experience as realistic as possible for patients, allowing them to make their own decisions on treatments.

Dental professionals that use digital scanners to their fullest potential can help patients realize future cases such as:

○ Restorative/prosthodontic management.
○ Worn dentition or a fracture.
○ Demonstrating gingival recession or deficiencies in attached gingiva.
○ Identifying ridge deficiencies in cases that require guided bone regeneration.
○ Pathology documentation such as soft-tissue pigmented lesions that call for a biopsy.

Merging with 3D CBCT imaging: A dental scanner can be used to complement the information provided by a CBCT image with surface detail of the patient’s teeth, which is necessary for orthodontic treatment and restoration planning.

Merging these two types of scans enables the surface details of the surrounding teeth to be incorporated seamlessly into the treatment planning software. The enhanced detail of these “merged” scans enables a highly detailed assessment of planned implant receptor sites, allowing dental professionals to “lift away” levels of anatomical detail for a more precise assessment.

Self-calibrating systems: A few of the dental scanners available today already have this desirable feature. Many dental scanners require manual calibration, which takes time to prepare and time away from scanning. The ability to pick up and scan quickly is becoming the industry standard because it keeps operators free to scan at any time.

Getting Started
If you’re just getting started with intraoral scanning or looking to upgrade or add to your existing equipment, get in touch with Renew Digital.

Renew Digital has been a leader in certified pre-owned dental imaging equipment for over a decade. Their experts are uniquely situated to help you evaluate the market-leading brands to find the best configuration for your practice, all while saving you up to 50% off new prices. Contact them at 888-246-5611 or contact them online to speak with a representative.

For more information about itero element and itero scanners Please visit: Renew Digital, LLC.

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