Making accurate dental impressions is easily the most essential part of submitting a case. There are many different options out there for capturing dental impressions, from traditional impressions to the wide variety of intraoral scanners available on the market today.
3-D technology has had a significant impact on dentistry in the last 20 years, and it is only expected to increase in the coming years. More and more doctors are moving over to intraoral scanners.
A study from 2014 found that the use of intraoral scanners could significantly accelerate the work flow of making impressions.
Some benefits of using an intraoral scanner include:
- More comfortable for patients than conventional impressions
- Save costs on impression materials
- No shipping hassles
- Higher accuracy than traditional impressions
- Fewer errors resulting in having to re-impress
- Facilitates sending scans to ClearCorrect electronically, resulting in a faster turnaround
Scanners we accept
ClearCorrect accepts records from most intraoral scanners currently on the market.
With the wide variety of intraoral scanners available, selecting the best intraoral scanner for you really comes down to your preferences. Some things you might want to consider when choosing a scanner:
- Is the scanner portable?
- Is the scanner light and easy to use?
- Will the scanning experience be comfortable for patients?
- Is there a cost for image export and storage?
- Is the software for the scanner compatible with your practice management software?
You can upload scan files from any intraoral scanner to ClearComm as long as the file is in STL format. (STL is an open, industry-standard file format that can be exported by most popular scanners.) Export your STL files from your scanner to your computer, and then upload those files just like your photos when you submit a case online.
STL files are not necessary if your scanner has the option to select ClearCorrect as your dental lab. The scanners that list ClearCorrect as a lab are CEREC Connect and TRIOS.
Here are instructions on some of the common scanners:
Here are a few tips for using scanners:
- We strongly recommend that you visually inspect your STL files before you submit them to us. Our favorite STL viewing application is netfabb Studio Basic, which is available free for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Other options include MiniMagics and FreeCAD.
- Some scanners output several files, but the only ones we need are the upper and lower arches. The arches should be saved in separate files, with the arches oriented in occlusion.
- Scan both arches, even if you're only treating or revising one of them. Recreating the occlusion based on one arch is prone to error. (This advice applies to PVS impressions as well.)
- We accept both "closed shell" and "open shell" models. (What is "closed shell" and "open shell"? In the 3D environment, the 3D model is only a series of many small triangles with very little depth (like a layer of saran wrap but with no thickness). This presents problems for modeling and 3D printing as they require objects. So the scans are usually closed by adding a model base or other artificial surfaces to close the model and make it "water tight", such that if the object was imagined to be a water container, there are no holes or areas the water could leak out. Some scanner's software automatically closes the model but there are others that require an extra step to produce the closed format.)
- To prevent aligners from flaring at the edges, always capture at least 3-5 mm's of gum in the scan.
- Capture more accurate bite scans by including as much of the occlusion as your scanner allows.
- We can't provide support for your scanner software, but if you've got any other questions, as always, your account rep is here to help.