Digital technology is changing the dental field, making diagnosis and treatment processes easier and faster. Digital dentistry involves using digital equipment when examining, diagnosing, and treating dental patients. Recent advances in dental technology have led to these digital devices becoming more widely used in dental practices worldwide.
The technology enables dental practices to move away from manual diagnosis and treatment methods to provide a more accurate, more efficient, and more comfortable process for patients and dentists. As a result, digital tools allow dentists to enhance patient experience and outcomes. With so many dental practices investing in this technology, dentists who keep manual working methods may start to fall behind the competition.
Intraoral scanners are one of the first digital tools to be adopted by dentists. Intraoral scanners make impression-taking easier, providing a seamless, fast and intuitive workflow that benefits dentists and patients.
Let’s meet the trend of digital dentistry…
Intraoral scanners have become very powerful and efficient tools in dentistry. They allow dentists to create digital impressions and move away from traditional methods. The scanner captures a 3D surface model of a patient’s mouth, which can then be saved and sent to the laboratory. Digital storage of impressions eliminates the need to store impression materials and models and post them backward and forward to the lab. Digital impressions also eliminate the need for traditional impressions that are uncomfortable for patients and tend to leave room for errors in impressions, which can result in patient return visits. Digital impressions are now used for various applications including implants, aligners, sleep devices, restorations, and orthodontics.
For more information on what intraoral scanners are and why you should invest, read our guide: Why invest in an intraoral scanner for your dental practice?
Digital impressions are becoming the go-to choice for dentists due to their speed, increased comfort, and convenience. There are several reasons many dental practices are investing in intraoral scanners. In the next section, we will look at the benefits of switching to digital impressions.
Patient experience and comfort are important for the success of dental practices. Many patients can feel uncomfortable visiting their dental practice, leading them to put appointments off. Dentists who improve their processes and treatment options can provide a more pleasant and comfortable patient experience, increasing satisfaction and putting the dental practice ahead of competitors.
Traditional impressions are associated with unpleasant tasting materials and possible gagging. Patients must also wait in the chair for the impression material to dry, further increasing discomfort. Intraoral scanners can take a full scan of the patient’s mouth in minutes reducing the amount of time required in the dentist's chair. The need for impression material and bulky trays is also eliminated.
Digital impressions can be displayed on the screen so dentists can visualize treatment options for the patient. Displaying scans on-screen makes it easier to communicate with patients and can increase treatment acceptance.
In addition, digital impressions provide increased accuracy, allowing for better fitting crowns, dentures and splints, improving treatment outcomes and reducing the need for patients to attend additional appointments if they do not fit.
Digital impressions integrate seamlessly into existing practices improving collaboration with labs and providing a more efficient workflow that benefits the dental practice, labs and patients. Existing workflows for restorative, implants and aligners can be improved and made more efficient by investing in an intraoral scanner.
Intraoral scanners reduce the number of steps taken to create an impression when compared to traditional impressions, so it streamlines the workflow, saving time. Digital impressions leave less room for human error than traditional impressions, which means impressions usually will not have to be repeated, restorations will fit well, and shorten treatment times. The impression can be seen while patients are still sitting in the chair so errors can be caught and fixed straight away. Digital files can then be shared online with the lab, and cases can be tracked online, so there is no waiting for impressions to be posted or phone calls between the lab and practice.
Time savings are essential for dentists and their patients. Intraoral scans are a faster procedure than traditional impressions. Digital impressions can be taken in minutes, which for the patient means less sitting time on the dental chair and fewer visits to the practice for corrections or impression repetitions. For patients, this results in a better and quicker treatment experience. For dentists, this results in more time to treat their patients.
Additionally, cost and time savings can be made on impression materials and shipping. The digital workflow eliminates the need for physical impressions and the materials required to produce them. The impressions are sent to the lab digitally, which ensures a faster workflow. Digital impressions can be saved on cloud platforms replacing the need for storage space to keep models.
Intraoral scanners can be seamlessly integrated into existing workflows benefiting dentists, labs and patients. Open intraoral scanners with validated workflows allow dentists to share digital data with their lab of choice instantly.
Dentsply Sirona’s DS Core platform enables powerful collaboration, better connectivity, and higher efficiency by providing a cloud storage and sharing solution that supports regulatory-compliant collaboration. Primescan can be easily connected to DS Core and the scanned files can then be easily shared with colleagues and lab partners while maintaining control over who has access to the file and for how long.
Primescan is available in two configurations: Primescan AC (acquisition center) and Primescan Connect (laptop solution). Primescan is an intraoral scanner that allows dentists to perform precise digital impressions. Primescan Connect is a laptop solution offering high scanning performance at a more accessible price. So, if you’re looking to invest in digital dentistry, Primescan can be the right choice for your practice.
Primescan can provide better results for dentists and better patient outcomes, including comfort and fitting accuracy.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of Primescan:
If you have been looking for a way to digitize your existing workflows, intraoral scanners and particularly Primescan offers a great and simple starting point, it can be used to digitize existing workflows to make impression-taking easier and more comfortable for patients. In addition, intraoral scanners can be used as a starting point to digitize other processes and implement further digital dentistry solutions such as 3D printers.
Intraoral scanners have recently been developed to become more accurate and solutions such as Primescan Connect make them more accessible for even more dental practices. As the technology further advances, you can ensure that you’re ahead of the curve, providing patients with more accurate, more efficient, and more comfortable treatment options.