How Scanners Play a Critical Role in the Lab
According to Kyle Russell, the CAD/CAM Manager at The Dental Lab, for every 50 intraoral scans received in a day, there are about 100 conventional impressions. Following the model department, the CAD/CAM crew is the first to get started on a case. Therefore, a good or poor scan plays a vital role in determining the outcome of the final prostheses.
DOES HAVING A MODEL AFFECT THE SCAN QUALITY?
For most cases, The Dental Lab chooses to pour models before scanning because it results in higher quality and accuracy. Having a physical representation of the teeth allows the scanner to capture more details, which in turn impacts the final restoration. There are few times when the lab scans impressions directly–typically for rush cases when time is limited. This is not the best method because it drastically reduces quality.
WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTORS OF A SCANNER?
When selecting a scanner, speed is the most important factor for our lab. For any sized restoration, the ideal length of time for scanning is less than 10 minutes. Any longer hinders efficiency and productivity, and causes a potential risk for delays. However, with newer and more advanced scanners put in place, scans can be completed even quicker, allowing our team to maximize and streamline our workflow.
Additionally, another important factor we consider when looking for scanners is size accommodation. As many of our cases utilize large metal articulators, we need scanners that can fit them properly.
Lastly, it’s vital to assess whether our computers have the capabilities to run the software in the first place. If the computer does not meet the system requirements, having a top-of-the-line scanner does not mean anything. Both the computer system and scanner system must be able to integrate together to result in optimal results.
HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN DENTAL SCANNERS?
One of the highest priorities to owning a scanner is keeping it clean. Accumulated dust can easily affect image and scan quality, which is why our team makes sure to clean them properly every day. The scanners in our laboratory are secured in our CAD room that is exclusively for scanning and designing. This helps in protecting the equipment from extra debris that accumulates in the rest of the lab from various fabrication processes.
Calibration is also part of maintenance, and we take the time to refresh our scanners at least once a week–depending on the number of times they were used. With each use, the scan quality slightly decreases. As Kyle puts it, “If you scan 100 cases in one day, the scanner likely will not be performing as well by the end of the day as it was at the beginning.”
WHAT MAKES THE DENTAL LAB DIFFERENT?
The Dental Lab is the preferred all-in-one digital dental lab near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Achieve more growth, efficiency, and peace of mind with a digital workflow. We provide our doctors with a FREE iTero Element 2 intraoral scanner when they partner with us. Doctors can receive all the technological equipment needed to get started–plus free training and technician assistance whenever needed. Contact us today to get started in digital.
The Dental Lab, Dental Lab, Kyle Russell, CAD/CAM, Digital, Scanners, Impressions, Dental Scan, digital dentistry, digital lab, digital dental lab, intraoral scanner
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Angel Chang is a Drexel University graduate with a background in Marketing. She has experience with digital analytics, SEO, social media management, content creation, copywriting, and web development.