Tools of the trade: iTero Element 2 scanner

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 Invisalign friendly scanner

by Dr Sam Guirguis, Natural Dentistry, Gordon, NSW

The iTero scanner’s initial purpose was to replace alginate and PVS impressions, and for crown and bridge use. Align Technology then streamlined the system to scan for Invisalign treatment, which is how I primarily use the Element 2 scanner in my practice.

What’s good about it

In regard to Invisalign, the scanner technology is constantly improving with upgrades coming through once or twice a year. They’ve incorporated artificial intelligence into the system so that it can show the patient the position of their teeth now and where they will be at the end of treatment. It will also create a full-face image so they can really see the final effect.

We no longer take moulds or impressions of patients’ teeth; everything is digital. Having a digital 3D model means it can be easily accessed anywhere. We’ve even started scanning old models we have in storage, uploading the information and discarding the model. This has freed up a lot of storage space in the clinic.

It keeps all patient records in one location and integrates with the software of all our different laboratories. The Element 2 is incredibly accurate and our crown and bridge restorative arm has been streamlined. It’s quicker, less messy and patients love it as they don’t need to have a mouth full of impression material.

The scanner is easy to use but it takes a little time to learn how to scan quickly. Most of the scans of our models and first-time patients are done by our dental assistants, while I do the crown and bridge scans. Spreading and delegating the work takes up less of my chair time which makes the practice more productive.

What’s not so good

The only downside is that it occasionally glitches and you have to restart the system. It’s always linked to the wi-fi and will sometimes automatically upgrade at an inconvenient time. The initial price means you have to use the machine often to get a good ROI and the software contract means ongoing annual payments.

Where did you get it? 

Invisalign 

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