Tools of the trade: iTero Element 2

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digital scanner

by Dr Joseph Kazzi, Bexley Dental, NSW

I like the iTero because it’s very convenient and provides an accurate record of the patient’s bite without the mess of alginate. The whole process is quick and easy for the patient and the dentist.

What’s good about it

Our iTero is a portable unit on a stand we can wheel around the surgery. I use it for all my Invisalign work as well as for things like records, working models for retainers, and study models for veneer work-ups. 

The wand is placed in the mouth of the patient and moved around to scan all the teeth. It’s generally comfortable for the patient and they prefer it over the alginate every single time. A full scan can be completed in a couple of minutes.

The results are instantaneous, and you can see the image immediately. While I tend to work directly off the digital scan, if you want a physical model, the file can be sent to the lab and they’ll have it printed and delivered in a couple of days. The results, whether a model or the actual appliance, are very accurate.

Some patients worry that the unit works like an X-ray but there’s no radiation at all. The wand is effectively a video camera taking multiple images to build up a 3D image. We’ve had this unit for three years and it’s been very reliable. Software updates are released frequently, and the unit automatically upgrades.

What’s not so good

Patients with smaller mouths can be a challenge when using the wand. It can be difficult to get a clear scan right at the back of their mouth. Sometimes, the software update can take place during the scan of a patient and you need to wait until it’s completed before proceeding.

Where did you get it

Invisalign

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