A quick guide to choosing an intraoral scanner

Nov. 3, 2021

To deliver the best patient care, dentists need the best digital tools on the market. Because of its ability to streamline restorative dentistry, a digital intraoral scanner is one of the most important investments you can make for your practice. Yet, with many options available, you might be asking yourself, "How do I choose an intraoral scanner?"

Dandy's research and development team visited 100-plus labs around the US and analyzed the 40-plus intraoral scanners on the market. Based on our findings, we established the four criteria every dentist should consider while choosing an intraoral scanner—accuracy, price, software capability, and ease of use—and there's one scanner that stands out.

Here's our breakdown:

1. Accuracy

 When using a digital scanner, the quality of the scan determines the accuracy of the lab work received. This relies on advanced hardware and software working together to capture anything found in a patient’s mouth, such as shiny metal or edentulous areas. Your scanner must be able to capture the detail and have the accuracy to support all types of restorative work, including crowns, bridges, dentures, partial dentures, night guards, and clear aligners. The precision of the scanning technology will be the difference between a seamless scanning experience or a call from your lab technician requesting a redo.

2. Software capability (speed)

This software is the technology that powers the scanner itself (think Apple's iOS) and directly affects how the scanner performs. Software capability can differ widely from scanner to scanner, yet it’s essential when determining its usability.

The intraoral scanner you want in your operatory should have no lag time between the scan and loading the images on your screen. The top scanner we researched scanned in less than 90 seconds and automatically recognized specific areas where touch-ups and rescans were needed.

3.  Ease of use

Likely, you don’t have a technology background, which is why you need a scanner with a user-friendly software interface that is intuitive and aligns with your workflow. We quickly eliminated scanners from our list of top intraoral scanners because the digital interface was too complex for a dentist with a patient in their chair.

The size and quality of the scanner device are essential as well. How does it feel in your hand? Does it fit comfortably in patients’ mouths? Is there a proper grip? The best intraoral scanner allows you to scan without awkwardness.

4. Price

Digital scanners were once expensive for most practices, yet high-quality scanners are now available at a lower price point. It’s important to consider which scanner brings the highest return on investment to your practice when combined with the three other criteria outlined here.

Be aware of other costs attached to the scanner, such as additional equipment, software subscription, training, and support. Look for ease and simplicity while acknowledging hidden expenses.

Our top choice, and how you can get it for free 

Based on these criteria, we created a side-by-side comparison of our top 4 intraoral scanners and went into more detail in our online webinar.

The 3Shape Trios is our top pick. Why? Because it hits all these criteria, and then some. Dentists like yourself need a dexterous scanner with easy-to-use software, producing clear full-arch scans at top speed. Even better, it integrates perfectly with Dandy's fully digital lab, meaning the whole process from scan to order can be done within minutes. We love the 3Shape Trios so much that we give it to Dandy customers for free.

Ultimately, choosing an intraoral scanner is the first step towards transitioning to digital dentistry. Consider the accuracy, software capability, ease of use, and price of the intraoral scanner, so that you’re not missing out on crucial features or purchasing something way too complex for your practice's needs.

Find out how you can get a free 3Shape TRIOS scanner

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