No one enjoys making dental impressions using traditional impression putty, as it creates a mess in the dental practice and is uncomfortable for the patient. However, technology has a solution, and that solution is the intraoral dental scanner.
How Does an Intraoral Scanner Work?
The intraoral scanner is a digital chair-side device that allows you to make accurate dental impressions faster and cheaper than traditional methods. The intraoral scanner projects a light source in the patient’s mouth, scanning the tissues, dental arches, and teeth and capturing the reflected images. The digital images are translated using sophisticated imaging sensors into a 3D representation of the images, effectively getting an extremely precise model of the patient’s oral anatomy.
Features of an Intraoral Scanner in Your Practice
Using an intraoral scanner yields much better results than the reverse-image methods. Here are some of the features you need to know when using an intraoral scanner in your dental practice, the primary of which is that it will make your daily workload easier:
- Patient’s comfort – there is no more need for you to press alginate putty in the patient’s mouth to create a reverse image of the patient’s oral anatomy; the intraoral scanner produces an image in minutes. It also benefits the dentist, as the intraoral scanner is lightweight and comfortable, and the results it provides are unmatched.
- Precision Measurements – the images provided by the intraoral scanner are so precise that it is impossible to achieve this precision with traditional methods. Also, the image results capture and outline the micro-details that allow you to provide precise-fitting clear aligners, night guards, crowns, bridges, and other implants.
- Fast results – quality, quantity, and speed almost always trade off on each other, but this is not the case with quality intraoral scanners. The best intraoral scanners on the market have an excellent balance between speed and accuracy, and you get the complete scans on your screen within a few moments. Also, advanced scanner software recognizes any areas that need additional scanning.
- Ease of Use –ease of use is one of the critical features of an intraoral scanner. You want a device that is easy to hold in your hand and allows a comfortable grip, as you will have to hold it steady in your patient’s mouth. Also, other factors like reaching the entire mouth, infection control regimen, and no-slip surface have essential roles.
- Cost – the price usually trumps all the other features, as the best intraoral scanner for your practice gives you the best options for your money. Please beware of any hidden costs or additional expenses that come with using a chair-side intraoral scanner, as these may be costlier than you can initially afford.
The Best Intraoral Scanners in 2023
Now that we’ve covered the features that factor in deciding the best intraoral scanner, here is a list of the top intraoral scanners for 2023:
- iTero Element 2
iTero Element 2 was created by Align, the US company that first introduced clear aligners to the market. They created iTero Element as a way for dentists to take scans and measurements for clear aligners. The iTero Element 2 is a fast scanner that provides sound, precise results, and full-colour digital impressions. It is intended to be used with the iTero software, which comes at an additional cost, and the entire setup – the iTero Element 2, the accompanying monitor and stand, and the software will cost you a hefty sum.
Medit is a relative newcomer in the dental intraoral scanner market coming from Korea, and the company has a flagship intraoral scanner that has made quite an impact. The Medit scanner is a high-performance device that is lightweight and sits comfortably in your hand. The price of Medit is also highly competitive. Still, there is a downside: the accompanying software can be pretty confusing, and the software toolbar is not very intuitive for people who are not tech-savvy.
- Shining Aoralscan 3
The Aoralscan 3 is a well-equipped intraoral scanner that is lightweight and fits comfortably in your hand. It is an affordable intraoral scanner that provides quality images, but you will have to have a steady hand, and it has simple-to-use software. The Aoralscan 3 does not come with a display or a laptop. It is an affordable model and a good option for the price, but the low price compromises the level of detail the scans provide.
- 3Shape TRIOS
The 3Shape TRIOS comes from a Danish company that has been a part of the dental industry for a decade. The intraoral scanner has a well-designed wand that offers comfortable manoeuvring and can easily reach the back teeth. The 3Shape TRIOS provides a full arch scan in about 90 seconds, and the accompanying software is relatively easy and intuitive. A significant downside to the 3Shape TRIOS is the steep monthly and annual subscriptions that can become very steep when you consider all the add-ons.
The Great intraoral scanner is an excellent option for an affordable, easy-to-use intraoral scanner. The Great intraoral scanner fits comfortably in your hand, and it comes with a laptop, accompanying software, and all the necessary training and continuous support for your dental team. The high-speed scanner provides full-colour, highly accurate dental scans in moments.
The exciting thing about Great is that a dental practice can get the intraoral scanner for free if they opt to work with the Great lab. There are no hidden fees or extra charges, and your dental practice can rely on constant customer support. The Great lab has a different policy regarding cooperating with dental practices in Ireland and the UK, which is why the lab can afford to give the Great intraoral scanner for free.
The Bottom Line
There are many intraoral scanners on the market, but we’ve outlined the best in every category here. While the others are good for particular uses, the Great intraoral scanner has everything your dental practice needs to go digital – a versatile, easy-to-manoeuvre scanner, high-precision, accurate full-colour images within moments, and excellent software. If you want to know how to get the Great intraoral scanner for free in your dental practice, book your demo today, and our team will get back to you. Also, please follow our blog, where we regularly share updates and advice on improving your dental practice business.