3D dental scanning is a progressive and very clear diagnostic method that allows the dentist to see the patient’s jaws and teeth from different angles. At the same time, teeth are scanned using a special device – an intraoral (intraoral) 3D scanner.
As the world’s technology advances, so does dental technology. Almost everywhere, new diagnostic possibilities and the formation of “casts of teeth” are being introduced, which significantly reduces the time required for prosthetics and, along with it, the quality of prosthetics. I mean intraoral scanners or, they are also called, 3D scanners.
This diagnostic device allows dentists to take a “cast” of the jaw in a digital format in a matter of minutes, without causing any discomfort to the patient.
The process of scanning teeth is completely painless, fast and simple: 3D scanning allows you to plan dental treatment, such as dental prosthetics and bite registration, as well as predict and view the results of treatment.
The principle of operation of the scanner is to synthesize the obtained images into a digital D-model. . Scanning completely replaces the process of taking casts of the jaws.
After scanning, the intraoral scanner provides a three-dimensional image of the jaw, on the basis of which it is possible to identify problem areas of the teeth and create the necessary models of crowns and complete dentures. Even patients with a strong gag reflex can comfortably use the intraoral scanner to take impressions without experiencing nausea.
The digital models created with these scanners are much more accurate. It is critical in orthopedic surgery for the fabrication of crowns, dentures and other orthopedic appliances such as aligners, braces.
With digital scanning, the doctor receives a digital 3D model of the patient’s teeth.
The file is then sent to the dental laboratory, where the technician creates a 3D model of the prosthesis using a specialized program.
The finished model is placed in a milling machine, and a crown is made from the selected material.
The accuracy of the resulting 3D model ensures perfect fit, bite, and ultimately comfort and durability of the prosthetic component.
How and where is this technology used?
In modern clinics, the process of taking individual casts of the jaws has been completely replaced by 3D scanning. These scanners are used in various areas of dentistry.
1. Orthodontic dentistry – the use of scans instead of traditional casts of the jaws. This is the most modern method of manufacturing bridges, crowns, veneers and inlays with an accuracy of 1/100 of a millimeter.
2. Implantology – used for diagnostics before implant placement and for the preparation of surgical models.
3. Orthodontics – used to examine and diagnose clinical conditions, predict treatment outcomes and, if necessary, create orthodontic structures.
4. Gnathology (pathologies of the dentoalveolar system) – scanning can be used to detect pathology and help in the manufacture of splints and splints
Benefits of 3D Dental Imaging
This modern method has many advantages.
High Accuracy: Even when very precise impressions are taken with the silicone material, there is slight shrinkage of the material when the model is cast. The maximum error in this case is 100 microns. When using an intraoral scanner, the error is only 12 microns, which is five to six times more accurate than conventional methods.
Ease of use. The dentist obtains a high-quality model of the jaw using simple techniques.
The procedure takes very little time. The device scans the impression in 24 seconds. No need to wait, as when taking an impression.
Patient comfort. The scan is painless and does not cause discomfort or gag reflexes.
Very informative. A three-dimensional model of the jaw allows you to determine all the features of the maxillofacial system and choose the appropriate treatment method in each case.
Digital impressions of the jaws provide an accurate and reliable picture of the condition of the teeth and jaws. The advantages are that they can be studied in detail, various structures can be tested, the end result of the treatment can be simulated and impressions can be made. These impressions can be quickly shipped to other labs or clinics and are easy to store.
Indications and contraindications for 3D dental scanning
Indications for 3D scanning of the oral cavity are a wide range of diseases and conditions:
abnormal position, shape, or size of teeth
crooked teeth, misshapen teeth
the absence of one, several or all teeth
dental hard tissue defects
diseases of the temporomandibular joint
the need for plates, splints, sports mouthguards and whitening
implant preparation and surgery
There are no contraindications for digital scanning. The procedure can be performed on people of all ages, from children to the elderly. Allergic reactions are also excluded as no recycled materials are used in the process.
There are already many types of dental scanners on the market. Devices vary in scan speed and scan head size, as well as in interface, usage, and image quality. The most popular and high quality scanners are Omnicam from Dentsply Sirona and Trios 3 PlanScan Emerald from 3Shape, CS3600 from Carestream and DWO from Dental Wings. The best scanners exhibit low noise levels, even when scanning close to orthopedic and orthodontic metal structures.
One of the best is the 3 Shape scanner. The manufacturer is a Danish company that is a pioneer in the field of 3D scanning. Shape 3 medical equipment is widely used in developed countries (Europe, USA, Japan) and all over the world.
The 3 Shape intraoral scanner is a high-precision device for the diagnosis and treatment of all diseases, anomalies and defects of the oral cavity. It is used to create 3D images of the individual occlusion and jaw. The device allows you to conduct a full scan in a very short time – one and a half minutes. It also transmits information quickly and displays a color image on the screen.
During the procedure, the scanner alternately scans the lower and upper jaw. Then the specialist performs a bite test (the patient is asked to bite the jaw). All scan results are displayed on the screen in real time. A special program identifies problem areas, such as teeth exposed to excessive pressure during chewing.
The model can be used for making three-view models of the jaws, preparing individual models for casting, making prosthetic materials, bite analysis, designing custom elastics, and designing prosthetic materials and crowns.
How is the scanning procedure
The procedure for obtaining a 3D model of the jaw is very simple and completely painless. The doctor adjusts the scanner and computer, replaces the nozzle on the device head. The patient is asked to open his mouth, and the teeth of the jaw are scanned in turn by the scanner. The procedure is performed first on the upper and then on the lower jaw. Then a bite scan is performed, in which the patient is asked to close his teeth. In the mouth, the whole procedure takes only a few minutes.
After performing work in the oral cavity, the dentist evaluates the scanned and calculated images. If necessary, additional pictures of problem areas can be taken. The 3D model of the jaw is then evaluated on a computer screen. The doctor offers several treatment options and chooses the one that best suits the needs of the patient. The next consultation is scheduled, the patient receives recommendations and appointments.
I believe that intraoral scanners are complex tools that greatly facilitate the work of the doctor and the treatment of the patient. Faster, better and more effective treatment can be carried out without the risk of complications. Orthopedic and orthodontic restorations made using a scanner are more convenient to use and more durable.