Get more from your intraoral scanner

Tom Lee from UKdentech digital dental lab explains how UKdentech helped over 100 dental practices adopt digital dentistry through the effective use of an intraoral scanner.

The adoption of intraoral scanner (IOS) technology has sky-rocketed in the last 18 months. More and more private dental practices are moving into the digital age at pace.

If you haven’t yet invested in an IOS, or aren’t considering doing so, then you’re already way behind the curve. Some might suggest you’re in real danger of becoming a dental dinosaur.

However, many adopters of IOS make the decision to come to us because they are not realising the full potential and benefits that digital dental workflows can bring. This might be because they haven’t received the best training experience, have insufficient ongoing support, or their current lab has not implemented fully digital workflows correctly.

At best, most IOS suppliers will offer a day of training when you purchase a scanner from them. After that, you’re largely left to fend for yourself as you fumble your way through a steep, and often costly, learning curve. It’s at this fundamental stage, whilst you’re still finding your feet, that you need the most advice and support.

A fully digital lab like UKdentech is best placed to offer this support. We can make certain you get the best out of your technology going forwards. We can identify issues and training requirements at the point we receive your scan. And we can provide immediate remote assistance if you need it whilst the patient is in the chair. Finally, we will follow up with additional training and advice on scanning workflows and protocols.

UKdentech has deployed, trained, and provided ongoing support to over 100 scanner installations. We understand digital better than anyone else in the industry. That’s why we’re here to assist you from the outset and we’ll continue supporting you throughout your entire digital journey with us.

Top tips for getting the most out of your IOS

Always take a pre-treatment scan before prepping the teeth. Remove any temporaries or partial dentures, etc.

Next, simply take a sectional scan of the restoration – once you have prepped the tooth, you only have to take a sectional scan of that area. This should only take you around 30 seconds to complete.

Let us do the rest – we’ll merge the two scans at the lab. Then we’ll create the perfect fitting restoration based on the occlusal information we have from the pre-preparation scan. 

We advocate this workflow for several reasons:

  • It gives a much more accurate bite scan and vital occlusal information from the existing teeth or temporary restorations. We can then mimic this in our final design
  • We will see the morphology and appearance of the existing dentition. This will help us to match the restoration aesthetically
  • Taking a smaller, sectional impression of the prep is quicker and less stressful. Especially when you’re in full AGP PPE
  • It is more efficient for you. You, or your nursing team, can even take the pre-treatment scan at the consultation stage provided the prep appointment is not too far in the future.

Nurses are the key

Dental nurses love scanning. In our experience, they are also very good at it. Dare I say it, better than most dentists!

They will become more enthused at work and feel more engaged by taking an active role in your patients’ treatment.

Empower your nurses to take most of your digital impressions and build in a protocol where you scan every patient at every visit. Let us train them up!

Scan every patient at every visit

By keeping digital records of your patients you can let the technology compare and monitor their dentition over time. Show your patients what is happening to their teeth, be it unwanted movement, erosion, wear or recession. Offer a more preventative level of service by spotting and treating small issues before they become major problems!

Develop willing nurses into a new role as treatment coordinators (TCOs) where the scanner will become the centre piece for their initial discussions with patients.

Conversations will take on a much more visual dynamic. Your patients can see their teeth like they’ve never seen them before.

Patient engagement software

We teach you and your team how to add immense value to your consultations and TCO appointments by using the integrated software in the scanner.

With orthodontic treatment simulations, digital smile designs and patient monitoring software, you have all the tools you need to effectively communicate what you can achieve with your patients’ smiles. 

intraoral scanner

A digital intraoral scanner is much more than just an impression taking tool. We will help you unleash the power of digital to better inform your patients and increase treatment acceptance.

Indemnity cover

Let’s not forget the power of an IOS in defending dental claims. Densura, a specialist provider of dental indemnity in the UK states that: ‘The data captured by an IOS is invaluable.

‘In some cases, the written notes are inconclusive. Armed with an IOS scan we have a snapshot in time of the condition of the patient’s mouth. The saying a picture is worth 1,000 words is so appropriate in these cases.’

E-prescription

Going digital is much more than just investing in an IOS. It’s also about digitising and streamlining the whole process.

That’s why we have developed an E-prescription portal for you to manage your cases with us.

Digital communications with the lab are more efficient, less ambiguous and create a paper trail where all interactions between your clinic and our technicians are recorded chronologically with your case files. Everything is in one place.

Having the ability to share files and digitally designed wax-ups enables a much more collaborative case planning experience. This results in more informed consent from your patients and increased predictability of treatment outcomes. 

Register at portal.ukdentech.com.


If you’re already digital and want to get more out of your IOS, or perhaps you’re looking to make the transition to digital in the near future, then speak to us today. We have the best packages available on 3shape Trios, Itero and Medit. And we will be there with you every step of the way, to ensure that you get the most from the technology you’ve invested in.

Call 01329 236063, email [email protected] or visit www.ukdentech.com to speak to one of our digital experts today.

Look out for part two next month: Digital implant workflows.

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