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Things to Consider When Buying an Intraoral Scanner

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2024-04-01      Origin: Site


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The advent of digital dentistry has revolutionized dental care, offering precision, efficiency, and an enhanced patient experience. At the heart of this digital transformation is the intraoral scanner, a device that captures direct optical impressions of the patient's oral cavity. However, deciding to invest in an intraoral scanner is not a decision to be taken lightly. This article explores the critical considerations to ensure you make an informed choice that aligns with your practice's needs and goals.

The Imperative of Support

One of the most crucial aspects of your investment is the level of support you will receive after purchasing your intraoral scanner. While many companies will assure you of their availability and assistance during the pre-sale period, the reality post-purchase can be starkly different. Ideal support should encompass training, troubleshooting, continued education, community forums, and proactive communication about new features or updates.

Assessing the Cost

The financial aspect of acquiring an intraoral scanner cannot be overstated. Historically, these devices were a significant investment, with prices ranging between $50,000 to $60,000. However, the landscape has changed dramatically, with high-quality scanners now available for as low as $12,000. It is essential to determine your budget while considering the features and capabilities that are most important to you.

Software Considerations

The software accompanying your intraoral scanner significantly impacts its utility and integration into your practice. Some scanners come with basic software for scanning and exporting files, while others include comprehensive patient engagement tools or full CAD software for in-house production. Understanding the scope of what each software package offers is crucial in aligning the scanner's functionality with your specific needs.

Image Quality: A Non-Negotiable

The quality of images produced by the intraoral scanner is fundamental to its effectiveness. Substandard image quality can complicate communication with your lab and impact the quality of patient care. Most manufacturers are transparent about their image quality, and direct inquiries or comparisons are advisable. Additionally, online reviews and scanner comparisons can provide valuable insights into the image quality of different brands.

The Open vs. Closed System Debate

The distinction between open and closed systems is a significant consideration. Open-source scanners offer flexibility, allowing for easy collaboration with labs and compatibility with a range of file formats such as STL, OBJ, and PLY. On the other hand, closed systems offer a streamlined, integrated workflow, akin to the Apple ecosystem, but with less flexibility. Your choice between an open or closed system should be informed by your practice's workflow, collaboration needs, and future expansion plans.

Ergonomics and Patient Comfort

The design and ergonomics of the intraoral scanner are vital for both the operator and the patient. A well-designed scanner minimizes discomfort during scanning, enhances patient experience, and ensures ease of use for the practitioner. Testing different models for weight, grip, and maneuverability can help select a scanner that best fits your practice's operational dynamics.

Evaluating the Total Cost of Ownership

Beyond the initial purchase price, consider the total cost of ownership, which includes maintenance, software subscriptions, and potential upgrade costs. A comprehensive cost analysis will provide a clearer picture of the long-term financial implications of your investment.

Investing in an intraoral scanner is a significant step toward modernizing your dental practice. It promises not only to enhance the efficiency and quality of care but also to position your practice as a forward-thinking establishment in the eyes of your patients. By carefully considering support, cost, software, image quality, system openness, ergonomics, and the total cost of ownership, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your practice's needs, budget, and long-term goals. Remember, the best intraoral scanner is one that complements your workflow, meets your clinical needs, and delivers on the promise of elevating patient care through digital dentistry.


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