In 2007, iTero launched its first intraoral scanner. This revolutionary piece of dental equipment changed the landscape for dentists and orthodontists, allowing them to work more effectively and efficiently by taking advantage of enhanced digital scanning. Take a closer look at this innovative piece of dental equipment.
What Are iTero Intraoral Scanners?
Intraoral scanners from iTero scan the mouths of patients, capturing images to create three-dimensional dental images in minutes. Intraoral scanners are simple to use and can be operated by one person. Their user-friendly nature helps dental professionals get the best results. The scans they produce are also more detailed than the traditional two-dimensional images they replace.
Intraoral digital scans help dental professionals create accurate physical dental models for restorative work, including crowns, veneers, and implants. They also help orthodontists diagnose orthodontic problems and develop the best treatment plans.
The company’s digital ecosystem software works seamlessly with its intraoral scanners, improving workflow for dental professionals working on orthodontic and restorative cases. However, unlike many early intraoral scanners, they are open systems. This feature gives dental professionals more flexibility about how they use their digital scan files. Intraoral digital scans from iTero scanners can be easily shared with other dental professionals and third-party providers such as Invisalign. When all relevant parties have the scans, they can communicate better to improve patient outcomes.
What iTero Intraoral Scanners Do
Intraoral scanners feature a wand, which the dental professional moves around a patient’s mouth. In the latest versions, the wand captures thousands of frames per second which are pieced together to create a three-dimensional visualisation of the patient’s mouth. The wands on iTero intraoral scanners are smaller than early intraoral scanners, allowing them to scan molars in the back of the mouth which were traditionally difficult to reach. Dental professionals using small wands also aren’t limited by how wide their patients can open their mouths. The small wands are also less likely to make patients gag than older forms of scanning technology.
Intraoral scanners also have screens which display the digital dental images as they’re captured in real time. The screens show whether the scan is good or not before it’s saved and submitted to the lab. This feature can be a real time-saver for dental professionals who, in the past, could receive word from the lab two or three weeks later that their scans were inadequate. By providing immediate feedback, intraoral scanners can save dental professionals and patients time and frustration.
Unlike many intraoral scanners, patients don’t need to cover their teeth in titanium dioxide powder before an iTero intraoral scan. This benefit further improves the scanning process for dental patients.
How Intraoral Scanners Make Invisalign Orthodontics Easier
Invisalign clear aligners are one of the most popular teeth-straightening aids used today as they’re effective, removable, and virtually undetectable. Unlike many intraoral scanners, iTero intraoral scanners have open architecture which makes them compatible with the Invisalign system, including its Invisalign Outcome Simulator. Orthodontists can scan their patients’ mouths with an iTero intraoral scanner, then show them how their Invisalign treatment will look. This technology improves the patient experience because patients can know what to expect and feel more confident in their diagnosis and treatment plan. It also makes the ClinCheck setup three times faster.
After setup, speed is still on the iTero intraoral scanners’ side. iTero states ClinCheck treatment plans submitted with its scans are usually posted to the Invisalign Doctor Site three times faster than traditional polyvinyl siloxane scans. As a result, your Invisalign aligners are created and posted back to your orthodontist sooner so that you can start treatment faster. Since the iTero intraoral scanning system is open, orthodontists can also send the scan files to any laboratory of their choosing for the creation of a retainer, which reinforces your treatment after the Invisalign process, and other dental tools.
Orthodontists can also create better Invisalign treatment plans for their patients using iTero intraoral scans. Align Technology research shows orthodontists who use the scans have 10 times fewer rejections and seven times fewer issues with the fit of the Invisalign aligners. These results may be because iTero intraoral scanners can help orthodontists track their patients’ progress. Regular scans throughout Invisalign treatment can help orthodontists compare expected outcomes with results. If results aren’t as expected, orthodontists can use the scans to educate their patients about their treatment and the importance of complying with their recommendations.
Improving iTero Intraoral Scanners
While it’s already a leader in dental technology, iTero is constantly refining its intraoral scanning options. Its Element Itraoral Scanner, introduced in March 2015, captures 6,000 frames per second, up to 20 times faster than its predecessor. Its wand is also smaller and lighter, with in-built controls for more intuitive operation. Intraoral scanners from iTero are renowned for their accuracy, but the increased capture speed improves the company’s already impressive statistics.
Discover the dentists in our 123 Community Dentist Network who use the iTero intraoral scanners to give their patients the best care. Request an appointment by finding a dentist in your neighbourhood or phoning our appointment concierge at 778-986-1200.