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Evaluating intraoral scanners

With so many models to choose from, shopping for a new intraoral scanner can be overwhelming.

Here are some tips to help you get the right intraoral scanner.

A level playing field

Technology has advanced to the point that the majority of intraoral scanners are similar in terms of quality and durability. Most well-known scanners will do what you need them to do, which is generate accurate digital images.

Shopping for an intraoral scanner these days is less about sorting through the “good” and “bad” and more about choosing the machine that best suits your needs

What problem do you hope to resolve?

The most pertinent question: what conditions am I using the scanner to treat?

Instead of comparing long lists of features attributed to each machine, work backwards. Think about the types of patients you treat most often and then see which scanners provide features most useful for the scenarios you see most frequently.

How can a scanner make a positive impact on your workflow?

Adding technology to your dental practice usually helps you save time, improve efficiency or provide a higher level of care to your patients. If most quality scanners will produce equally good end results, it’s a good idea to take a step back and think about how each model best improves your workflow.

  • Do you have an assistant? Which scanners are best suited for working solo or in a team?
  • Do you share equipment with other dentists at your practice? Does your scanner need to be transportable? Is the system scalable if your practice grows?
  • Do you require an open system? How important is it that you share files with other practices?
  • Do you mostly do full-mouth scans? Some models are better suited than others.

Try before you buy

It usually makes sense to set up a hands-on demonstration in your office. It’s a good idea to test out at least two or three models before making a final decision. Sometimes getting a feel for how a scanner operates can be the final piece that solves the selection puzzle for you.