7 qualities to evaluate before purchasing intra-oral scanners

For the last ten years the rate of adoption and development in 3D scanning technologies has led to a tremendous amount of change in today’s dental workflows.

Smarter features, easier integration, new findings, and a worldwide understanding of 3D scanning is all leading to a better clinical outcome and an easier process for our patients and clinicians.

But if you’re a dentist or a specialist in 2020 looking for your first camera or even your next camera, pay close attention to this list of the top 7 qualities to evaluate. It could save you a lot of money and a lot of headache.

3D Scanner Support

Arguably the most important factor when considering a technology purchase. Do not take this lightly. Support is make or break.

First let’s define support. True support encompasses training, education, and help when you need it. Support is ultimately taking responsibility to help the end user maximize total value from the product to reach the desired end results.

Support should come from the product distributor so be sure to keep that in mind.

Is the team responsive when you need to contact them? Do they follow up? Do they have the knowledge to resolve technical issues? Are they clinically savvy with how you will be using the camera? What is their training platform? Do they offer continued education? Are they motivated to support you?

These are all important questions to consider first.

Dental Scanner Software

Today software is the catalyst leading the way. It is the secret ingredient behind each intraoral scanner and is totally dependent on the engineering team behind the brand.

For intraoral scanners, software should be measured by the user interface, lab connection, third party software accessibility, and software upgrade consistency.

The best way to find this out is to check product websites for videos and descriptions. An even better way to check out the software is to contact the teams for short demonstrations to see it in action.

The software design is responsible for ease of use and will greatly influence the learning curve.

Dental 3D Scanner Versatility

What can the camera actually scan for? Is it a single purpose or can you use it for multiple types of cases?

Some cameras are manufactured for specific indications while others are designed to image just about everything.

Be sure to dig into this. A great way to find out is through private, peer to peer doctor social media groups where you can post this question so all of the intraoral scanner users can respond with their feedback and experience.

Digital Scanner Clinical Documentation

Ever purchase a product where they say it will do one thing but in reality it does another?

The distributor or manufacturer should reflect great effort in documenting the products they support in a clinical environment. Bonus points if you can find live footage for multiple cases like crowns, implants, partials, and full arch appliances.

It’s 2020, all cameras can image a stone model very well, that’s old news. But not all cameras can image a live patient as fast or as precisely as their in vitro studies suggest they do. It’s important to find this out before you spend the capital.

Clinical documentation is the best way to find out if the camera is the real deal.

Intra-Oral Scanner Cost

Bottom line price is always important. One of the main purposes of technology is to make money or to save money and it’s no different when you’re shopping for an intraoral scanner. We recommend doctors consider cost in a 5 year time frame since you will most likely use the camera for at least 5 years before you replace or upgrade. Compare the 5 year cost of the camera to your current chairside and labside expenses (do not forget to monetize chair time, retakes, and adjustments for a clear calculation).

Intra-Oral Scanners & Warranty

The industry standard includes a 1 year manufacturer warranty with technology purchases. This means should anything go defective with the product that can’t be solved remotely, the distributor and manufacturer will deploy a process to verify and then issue an RMA to repair or replace.

Key things to consider with warranties: Can you purchase an extended warranty? If so, do you have to purchase at the point of sale with the camera or is there a grace period to add it later? What does the warranty cover? Is the warranty process difficult and time consuming? Do they take the camera back for repair or do they send you a brand new unit? Do they have loaners available when your camera is down?

Be sure to collect all of this info.

Intra Oral Scanner Image Quality

Just like when you purchased digital x-rays or CBCT, image quality is everything. If you plan to send your 3D models to a lab this is probably the number one quality your designers care about.

Although scanning is entirely dependent on the user, the image resolution is derived from the projector, number of cameras within the scanner, and the software filters. Each of these play an important role in delivering the final model that is produced on your computer and used for final production.

Fortunately checking image quality is easy. You can usually find plenty of examples online or get digital models from the distributor.

Intraoral scanning technology is a game changer for the patients and the practice. The advantages are endless and once you start scanning you will never remember how you used to deal with messy impression materials or slow/expensive workflows.

If you are looking for an intra oral scanner, Bayshore Dental Studio offers the Intelliscan 3D intraoral scanner that simplifies the intraoral scanning experience. The ease of operation provides patients comfort while delivering reliable scan results.

Bayshore Dental Studio’s dental 3d scanner enables dentists and technicans alike to easily obtain digital impressions. The Intelliscan 3D intraoral scanner gives you a leg up on the competition, helping you be more efficient, more accurate, and more profitable. We provide the technology and tools – you focus on what you’re good at: treating patients.