Perhaps you know the feeling: You are all set to take the plunge into digital dentistry and you want to start using an intraoral scanner, but you are not quite sure how to tackle this seemingly daunting task? First of all: Getting started in digital impression-taking is easier than you’d think. There are solutions out there that ensure a comfortable smooth ride into digital dentistry without you having to change every inch of your existing practice life. What is true for other technologies is also true for intraoral scanners: When something has become the new normal, it is ready to be adopted on a broad basis. Modern intraoral scanners are a mature technology. Now it’s time to put them through their paces in everyday dentistry.
Handling and ease of use are decisive criteria
for anybody interested in buying an intraoral scanner.
Sometimes you may find yourself in a tough situation. Dentists are increasingly confronted with conflicting requirements. They have to reconcile proven ways of doing their work with new concepts, harmonize manual procedures with digital techniques; juggle patient care with the demands for efficiency, strike a sound work-life balance whilst meeting expectations of around-the-clock availability. It is no mean feat to accommodate all these requirements in the hurly-burly of daily practice life – not to mention paying attention to the new technology that keeps arising. Just getting your head around the latest terminology can be mind boggling: cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality … new terms keep cropping up, making everything sound even more complicated.
Here’s a tip: Don’t be flustered by the loud marketing hype and claims of innovation. Instead, put things into perspective and focus on steady, consistent technological progress. Ultimately, digital is only a matter of getting used to.
We all got used to it: digital technologies have long
become an integral part of our day-to-day lives.
Once we turn our mind and attention to tech, our digital know-how will grow almost without us noticing it.
Today, the question is no longer how much a dental practice should digitalize but at which point the digitalization process should start. So, where do I start? Digital impression-taking is considered one of the most important steps. While digital manufacturing processes are the order of the day in dental labs, many dental practices are still using analog workflows. The crux is: if there is no data, there is no process.
A smart intraoral scanner such as VivaScan allows you to take a digital impression and send the Information to the lab using the usual sequence – it’s convenient and straightforward.
Moving over to digital impression-taking does not mean that you have to radically change the way you do things in your practice. Rather, it is about optimizing and simplifying a familiar clinical workflow (impression taking) for your own good as well as for the good of your practice team and patients.
A complex procedure does not need to be complicated.
State-of-the-art intraoral scanners are designed for fast and straightforward scanning procedures. These user-friendly scanners are based on open software, feature compact dimensions and impress with canny details and intuitive handling. They can be integrated smoothly into the existing sequence of jobs in the practice and therefore offer an ideal starting point for implementing a digital workflow.
Ideally, digital impression-taking can be easily integrated into your existing processes without requiring additional equipment. The VivaScan intraoral scanner, for instance, does not require a great many cables and plug-ins. It’s Plug & Play – only one cable is required to connect the scanner directly to a laptop.
Given its slimfit, lightweight design, the VivaScan scanner allows you to capture data with ease during the scanning process. It only takes an instant to complete an oral scan. The scans are automatically saved and available for further processing.
The oral scan can be viewed on the screen from all angles. If necessary, selective adjustments can be realized in real-time and any faulty sections can be rescanned. The user interface of the software is easy to navigate and understand. Given its intuitive operation, users will find their way around the software with ease even if they are new to it.
While the process of digital intraoral data capturing is different from conventional impression-taking methods, the subsequent steps remain virtually unchanged, except for the fact that a digital workflow is used.
The digitized records are sent to the dental laboratory of choice, ideally using a file sharing portal. VivaScan comes with an integrated file sharing solution that combines instant data transmission with data security. It only takes one click to save the scans to the Ivoclar Cloud. The chosen dental lab receives a notification and can download the data in near real-time. Dentists can communicate with dental technicians directly, discussing the details of the patient’s case on the basis of the scan data (virtual model).
As VivaScan uses an open data format, the lab can process the data using its favourite manufacturing system (CAD/CAM). Whether it is an all-ceramic IPS e.max crown, a monolithic zirconia bridge or an orthodontic appliance, a digital workflow can often be used from start to finish (without analog model). Should an analog model be required (e.g. for veneering an anterior crown), the scan data can be used to easily generate a physical model (e.g. by 3D printing).
And you will soon realize that intraoral scanners do more than just replace conventional procedures with digital processes. They push open the door to new areas of application that offer increased efficiency, more security and better treatment options for patients:
Getting started in digital dentistry is by no means an insurmountable task nor is it a project of epic proportions. Intuitive intraoral scan solutions such as VivaScan provide a smooth ride into digital dentistry without the need for radically changing existing workflows in the dental practice. Why complicate things – when simple is just as good?