Dentists often ask us what the best scanner is, and our answer is always the same. An intraoral scanner. If you're considering purchasing an intraoral scanner there are several things you should know before buying.
It wasn't long ago that a good percentage of early intraoral scanners adopters were beat up for stretching scanners above their capacity. Scanners had restricted choices, restricted materials and restricted capabilities.
The result of the limited scanner abilities was that just like other technologies from various industries, the early and late mainstream professionals hardly joined the party.
However, over time it was realized that scanners are one of the most powerful tools in our trade. Knowing that has encouraged dentists to consider purchasing an intraoral scanner, but what are questions you need to ask before you buy? More importantly, what are the advantages of digital impressions?
Scan-Only or Single-Visit?
Some dentists might say, that they don't want to be in a lab, that they love their lab, or that their patients don't mind coming back. They may even mention quality of service or the importance of time management. The list of "good reasons" goes on and on.
Sure, that's fine you don't have to be the lab. The great things is that you can continue working with your lab, appreciate their value and manage your time just like you always have. On the other hand, you can go all in and release the true potential of an intraoral scanners (you know the modern approach).
Here's our best advice: You need to move away from the myopic tunnel and think beyond today. It's 2018, and it's time to look into your future, the future of dentistry as a whole, and truly consider what it is your patients really want. With decades of experience under our belt, we haven't seen everything yet, but we've definitely seen enough to appreciate what's going to be eliminated and what's going to stick around. When you evaluate the fast-paced lives we live, you can count on the fact that single-visit dentistry is surely sticking…big time.
Impressions or Implants?
If a perfect storm existed in dentistry, we'd definitely name it implant. With the presence of patient demand and every single demographic on our side, we are positioned for continuous growth in the dental implant field. If that's where you want to poise yourself, then you'll need a scanner that will allow remove you from the physical and place you into the digital impressionarena.
If you responded yes to single-visit in our first question above, then you need a scanner that will allow you to design your own custom abutments and custom abutment crowns chairside right away.
Ortho Up or Down?
Whether you're a full ortho type of clinician or you're the type that just sticks to appliances, your scanner should have the ability to help you deliver. That's true with brackets, retainers, removable appliances, or clear aligners.
In any industry, the component that sets you apart or the unique factor that you bring into the industry is ultimately what leads to your success. For dentists, the patient experience, the speed, and the accuracy you will be able to deliver with an intraoral scanner is by far what will give you the upper hand.
Separate or Integrate?
Perhaps it's just us, but one of our favorite four-letter words in the dentistry field is CBCT. In addition to sleep dentistry, ortho, surgical guides, implant planning, and completely guided surgery means that everyone in dentistry needs a scanner that integrates, not separates.
Arriving back to the first point we made, when you combine your scanner and a CBCT, you're scaling your ability to mill and/or 3D print pretty much any appliance you can possibly dream of.
What's the ROI When Buying an Intraoral Scanner?
So, how will purchasing an intraoral scanner influence your profits and loss statement? Here are some great bullet points that will help point out how an intraoral scanner will dramatically boost your profits:
* Improved team utilization
* Reduced physical impression materials
* Improved chair time efficiency
* Reduced temporization materials (when 3D printing or milling are fused)
* Increased parameters of procedures
* Reduced need to refer procedures out
* Increased influence, presence, and a new patient flow
The Bottom Line
As you do your due diligence, remember the questions we reviewed today which we hope will give you a better outlook on what matters most to you…how you deliver on patient experience.