Intraoral Scanners – Just a Tool or the Perfect Employee?

Yes, an intraoral scanner is a powerhouse in the practice. In addition to improving patient comfort and eliminating slower, conventional means of impression capture, intraoral scanners are perfect for a number of clinical applications such as restorations, orthodontics, implants and sleep medicine.

But an intraoral scanner is so much more than just an instrument—you can also think of it as an employee or teammate. In fact, when choosing an intraoral scanner, you should make sure it has all the attributes that you desire in the ideal employee:

Fast and Efficient
The best employees are those who can juggle multiple tasks simultaneously—and an intraoral scanner should be no different. Look for models that can capture both digital impressions and 2D photographs which eliminate the need to go back with an intraoral camera to capture images after the initial scan.  

In a busy practice, you don’t want a one-trick pony. You need someone who is game to help you accomplish whatever you want. Fortunately, your intraoral scanner can provide exceptional versatility to address restorative, orthodontic, implant-borne prosthetic and sleep device needs within your practice!

Contributes to Getting the Job Done Right
We can all improve—and a great employee will kindly offer feedback when it’s needed. Your intraoral scanner should too. Fortunately, some intraoral scanners offer warnings that provide feedback in real time, indicating areas of the scan that require additional data capture and resulting in a more complete digital impression. This real-time feedback makes you more efficient and eliminates the need for additional scanning later.

Dependable and Accurate
Nothing is worse than working with someone you can’t count on. An ideal employee sets the gold standard for getting the job done right in your practice, helping you reduce wasted time and money on inaccurate work. While it’s important to have an employee who is quick and efficient, the benefits of both can be lost if they are not accompanied by accurate work.  Fortunately, a quality scanner delivers the accuracy you need for error-free digital impressions. Because the right scanner captures digital impressions correctly the first time—you won’t hear from the lab later that key data was missing from what you submitted!

It can be frustrating to work with someone who is overly rigid. By choosing the right scanner, you can experience the ultimate in flexibility during an impression scan. For example, a scanner featuring an Intelligent Matching System will allow you to freely fill in missing information for any area in the data set. This means you can jump to any location in the mouth and still capture the information you need.

You should also look for a scanner that produces files that are compatible with any third-party systems of the user’s choice, so you enjoy enhanced flexibility in your treatment planning.

Straightforward and Uncomplicated
Time is of the essence in the practice, and you don’t have time to figure out the new employee. Fortunately, a great intraoral scanner is easy to pick up and use. It will also easily integrate with your imaging and practice management software.

Cares about the Environment
No one wants to work with someone who creates unnecessary waste—and intraoral scanners definitely do their part to care for the environment. Your scanner will eliminate the need for disposable impression materials and plastic trays that would otherwise take up space in a landfill. Not only that, but any unwanted data can be “thrown away” with the click of a delete button.

Practices Proper Infection Prevention
A good employee always takes time to ensure the safety of the practice and patients.  As intraoral scanner tips may come into contact with blood and mucous membranes, it’s essential to select an intraoral a scanner with tips that can be sterilized―not just disinfected―to ensure the standards are met for critical and semi-critical patient care items. 

Acts as a Companion to Others
A team that works well together is a happy team. When combined with other digital technology in the practice, your intraoral scanner should add to what you’re able to do in the office. For example, your scanner may work with your cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) system for implant planning and treatment. Or your scanner acquisition software should easily add images to your patient charts within your practice management software, so you can easily pull up your records in a centralized location.

Continues to Advance Its Skillset
The right intraoral scanner is supported by robust software, which continues to evolve with the industry. This means your scanner is always updating its skillset, whether that means enabling additional bite capture for sleep medicine cases or adding streamlined functionality to make your workflow easier.

Like Interviewing a New Team Member, It’s Important to Choose Wisely

There are a lot of intraoral scanners on the market, so it is critical that you choose the right one for your team.

Carestream Dental’s intraoral scanners check all the boxes when it comes to the above criteria. Learn more about how our scanners can complement your practice in this new eBook.

The Digital Stream Carestream Dental Blog Administrator