Tools of the trade: Planmeca PlanScan intra-oral scanner

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The Planmeca PlanScan intra-oral scanner
The Planmeca PlanScan intra-oral scanner

by Dr Lakshmi Morisetty, Smiles Nambour, QLD

This intra-oral scanner uses CAD/CAM technology to create crowns, inlays and bridges. This is a fairly new machine in our practice and at the moment I’m using it with single crowns. I am about to undertake training on how to effectively use the scanner for anterior crowns and bridges. I can already see that the PlanScan has a lot more potential.

What’s good about it

For a single crown, I only need to scan a small area in the mouth—the prep, the adjacent teeth and the opposing teeth. In the old days, an impression would have been taken of the top and bottom arches, and the bite. This is obviously a great improvement.

The unit uses blue laser technology that’s very reflective and records the finest detail. As the scanner is passed along the teeth, you can watch as all the information it catches appears on the screen. If the patient is watching, it’s very impressive. I have never had a need to take a re-scan.

The technology stitches the scanned images together into an extremely accurate representation. This makes it very easy to design a crown. If the practice has a milling machine, the data can be transferred to it and the crown made in the surgery. Otherwise the information can be emailed to the lab and the crown can be milled there.

If the computer screen is positioned in front of the patient, we can design the crown while the patient watches. It’s nice to be able to show them what the finished product will look like.

What’s not so good

The head of the scanner that goes in the patient’s mouth is quite large. It would be nice if it was a little less bulky.

Where did you get it

Henry Schein Halas.

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