There are many different manufacturers of Intraoral Scanners marketing to your dental practice and there will be many more to come. How do you know which one will work best for you? What questions should you be asking?
We at Biogenic Dental Labs have had the opportunity to have conversations with many dentists and manufacturers regarding this topic. We have done research which may help you make an informed decision when choosing a digital intraoral scanner.
The WOW factor for your patients - Patients are impressed with Digital technology and also appreciate the more comfortable, cleaner and quicker approach to having their impressions taken. Then consider the savings of eliminating the cost of impression materials, trays, packing and shipping, plus the infection control step-all that adds up, and takes your precious time. Wouldn't you rather press a button and send your scan to our lab for custom Rx processing or to your in-office mill?
There are basically two kinds of scanners on the market.Laser based scanners which are powder free and utilize laser technology for capture. These produce extremely accurate scans and offer faster capture times once you are familiar with the system.
LED based scanners require a contrast medium (powder spray) for capture. The capture process can be somewhat more time consuming due to the use of contrast medium (powder spray).
Cost vs long term goals
There are lower cost entry level systems on the market today, but can they do what you need them to do? When considering your intraoral scanner purchase, make sure you choose one that will work best for you and grow with your practice.
We team up to ensure case success
Use firstname.lastname@example.org to send a case to our digital department at Biogenic Dental Lab or add our laboratory to your dropdown box. Biogenic utilizes 3Shape design software which supports intra-oral scans from Cerec, Trios, Itero, Planscan, Carestream, E4D and True Def. See our intraoral scans accepted page.
Realize the benefits and limitations.
Milling directly in your office allows you to make "same day crowns" for your patients.
Realize that some mills are limited to manufacturer's proprietary materials, and single-unit applications, so be sure you research what materials can be used in the milling machine you purchase. Most intraoral scanners work with more than one type of mill. You don't always have to purchase the "package deal" (scanner + mill) from your rep. For instance, if you want more detail in your restorations, you may opt for a 5 axis mill versus a 4 axis. Also the milling bur size options have a great effect on accuracy and detail.
This is the best of both worlds for most dentists.
Allows for flexibility of in office "same day crown" service and/or sending to your lab for fabrication.
Some manufacturers only allow you to send scan files "in-network" which can limit your restorative options and laboratory providers. This drastically limits the investment you make in your intraoral scanner, and traditional impression-taking techniques may still be necessary for the cases you need to send out to your lab. Be sure to ask your rep to explain how their scanner works with 3Shape and other very popular design software used in many dental laboratories. It is imperative that you contact your dental laboratory of choice to find out what design software they use and what intra-oral scanning devices they support. The number one design software used in dental laboratories is overwhelmingly 3Shape. 3Shape makes the TRIOS intra-oral scanner for doctors who want to be able to seamlessly interact with their dental laboratory without material or restorative limitations. The right scanning system will allow you to use your digital scanner for everything from crowns & bridges of any size and material to implant appliances including custom abutments, clip-bars, and fixed-detachable.
You can send cases to your lab while the patient is still in the chair offering quicker turn-around times
If you are looking for a scan only solution, intraoral scanners are available independently from mills. You don't always have to purchase the "package deal" (scanner + mill) from your rep. There are many intraoral scanners to choose from on the market. Be sure to ask your rep for an open system, which allows you to send .stl files to any lab you choose. Your experienced lab can produce the results you prescribe without the headache of training staff to operate and maintain your in-office milling system and to be able to perform procedures such as fitting, finishing, ceramic firing (crystallization), and staining and glazing.