Five reasons to own an intraoral scanner

Thinking of investing in digital technology for your practice? 3Shape explains how it could improve your practice.

Are you still considering digital dentistry?

There was a time when accuracy and functionality were excuses for not investing in a digital impression solution. Those days are over. Prosthodontist, Dr Vincent Prestipino, agrees: ‘The curtain that doctors have been hiding behind: the one that says digital is no good or the quality isn’t there, no longer exists.’

Intraoral scanners are just as, or even more accurate than analogue impressions, depending on the study you cite. The functionality, in terms of the workflow and ease of use, is no longer a discussion either. So what’s holding you back? Here are five reasons for you to stop thinking, and instead, go shopping.

#1: save time and see more patients

There are numerous studies that document that intraoral scanners save you time. You just have to compare the digital workflow for creating aesthetic restorations with the analogue workflow. There is no comparison. When it comes to digitally scanning a patient, it takes five minutes. That’s it. No impression material used, no sitting around waiting for the PVS to dry, no patient-gagging, no mess. The difference in the workflow is obvious. A huge change that translates into you having more time to see more patients. In the case of Dr Jonathan L Ferencz, he says that the digital workflow has enabled him to accomplish nearly as much work as he has always done, but in half the time. ‘That’s a huge difference.’

#2: benefit from digital accuracy and reduce manual errors

There are plenty of studies that document the accuracy of intraoral scanning. By eliminating analogue impressions from your workflow, you instantly remove, what most labs will tell you is their biggest source of error – your impression. Dental labs say it is much easier and more accurate to work with digital impressions. In fact, CDT, Tate Dobbs reveals that: ‘Trios accuracy has basically eliminated remakes in our laboratory.’

In addition, just physically taking intraoral scans is a simpler process. Sure, there is a learning curve. But in the words of Dr Barbara Jurim: ‘If you can use a smartphone, you can scan.’

#3: improve treatment acceptance

The original intention for intraoral scanning was to digitalise the impression process and use the data to create a restoration. Times have changed. For example, the new Trios Move hardware setup for the Trios intraoral scanner, enables you to adjust the scanner’s monitor to any position. That enables you to do more with the scans, like share them with your patients while they still sit in the chair. Because Move is so movable, patients don’t have to strain to turn around and see them, you won’t trip over any wires, you’ll just effortlessly move the monitor in any direction you want. A simple difference that is making a world of difference to patient acceptance. Danish dentist, Dr Maijken Wahl, says that since she began using Trios Move: ‘Patient acceptance has almost gone up to 100%.’

3Shape Trios also includes patient-engagement apps like Trios Smile Design – ‘A fantastic tool and one that is changing lives,’ says dentist and smile designer, Dr Marc Onuoha. In addition, apps like Trios Patient Monitoring – that enables doctors to track and quantify, ie gingival retraction, bruxism and teeth movement, and treatment simulator for showing patients the envisioned results of their orthodontic treatment, will have you scanning and exciting your patients at every visit while driving treatment acceptance.

#4: save costs on impression material and shipping

Depending on your practice set up, the savings on using an intraoral scanner can be huge. From PVS material to plaster for models, the digital workflow all but eliminates the need for physical impressions. Not to mention, shipping and storage savings. If you are an orthodontist, you can digitalise all your models. That’s five years of models now stored on a hard disc or the cloud.

Dr Mark McOmie from the states, did the maths and charted the savings between digital versus analogue.

Crowns per month

Cost per analogue impression w/ bite registration and triple tray cost Discount from lab for digital impression Savings per month Savings per year Two-year savings

Six-year savings


40 USD 20 USD 2,400 USD 28,800 USD 57,600 USD

115,600 USD

Upon seeing the results and buying a Trios, Dr McOmie concluded: ‘You want to know how to send your kids to college? Buy a 3Shape Trios intraoral scanner.’

#5: excite your patients and improve patient comfort

While most of us think about intraoral scanner accuracy and function when we consider going digital, it is the benefits to your patients that just might be the number one reason for you to make the move. There are several studies that document patients prefer the digital workflow. And in the case of a University of Bern, School of Dental Medicine study, it is not just some patients, but all patients (100%) prefer digital.

Digital dentistry impresses your patients and gets them talking and recommending your practice. You can ‘Google’ the many articles with dentists talking about the positive impact digital technology has made on their practice.

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