Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

Dental Scanners Everywhere! How do you know what to buy?

The very last thing you should do is buy an Impression Scanner at a trade show. Dental conventions are a great place to look at everything but you want to see that expensive investment in your office. Every scanner has pro’s and con’s and those differences will effect the production of the office. Top KOL clinicians may have 2 or 3 different brand scanners because some are better than others for certain procedures. For most of us, one scanner is quite sufficient but which one is best for you?

The Best Fit … What are you planning on using a scanner for? Are you thinking Invisalign? If so then you are limiting your options. Align Technologies only accepts images for several scanners such as CEREC, True Definition & iTero (Generic). If you’re thinking restorative & cosmetic then there is a lot to look at. My experience with technology taught me not take the first off the assembly line and to factor in integration into your network and support services as a higher priority than the price. Today, these 4 scanners top my list and are worth looking into.

True Definition … 3M brought this perfect introductory level scanner to the market a number of years ago so it is proven in the field. It is small, self contained, very portable, high definition and works on an open platform so it will communicate with a wide variety of digital equipment currently in the office including mills. The camera is only black & white and utilizes industry standard optical components. At a cost of $15k to $17k it is best entry level system for the practice that may not be sure about scanning. Warning, after getting into scanning, there is a good chance you may need and want more.

Emerald Scanner … Several years ago Planmeca Corp. took control of D4D Technologies. The E4D scanner was up-graded and renamed Emerald. This full color laser image scanner works on an open platform and will integrate seamlessly with a CBT, Mill and your software. E4D’s technology has been evolving for over two decades and is proven in the market. For the practice that is anticipating more digital solutions in the future, this is the system. Cost is under $30k.

3 Shape … Trios Corp. takes restorative dentistry to a new level. This system is so impressive utilizing laser image capture, an open software platform, and true color. The camera does more than just capture images, it also is an intraoral camera. But the most advanced feature is the built in shade matching camera. A tooth often has several fluctuation in shade, the 3 Shape will recognize them and transmit a perfect color correct image to your lab. When connected to a mill, this is a front line in-office Cad Cam system. If restorative and cosmetic dentistry is your thing, 3 Shape fits the practice. Cost (depending on options) $35k to $45k.

CEREC … The Grand Daddy of Dental Impression Scanner has been around for over 30 years. It is tested, proven, and does everything you can imagine. CEREC is fast and delivers true color. The software is not an open platform and the system does require a cart that takes some floor space but the quality and reputation of Dentslply Sirona’s Cerec system speaks for it’s self. Long before many current dentists were born, the Cerec System was being developed. The images can be transmitted to any Cerec authorized lab or converted to an STS files and sent anywhere, including Invisalign. The scanner only system (depending on options) is under $30k.

The Bottom Line … Dental impression scanning is here to stay, it is the future. If you are going to be practicing dentistry for another 5 years or more, you will need to engage this digital technology. The next generation of adult patients will require it. Although you will be eliminating 90% of your impression material costs, you will need annual support contracts so scanning will not save money but it will increase production and help increase revenue. Don’t fall too far behind the curve, catch-up is more expensive. Please feel free to contact me with questions or concerns.



June 18, 2018 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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