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Clinicians Report: Digital Impression Scanners August 2016

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For an introductory period 360 Visualise are offering free intra oral scans (when your patient is referred for a CBCT scan) The two data sets combined can be used for accurate and easy implant guide planning and production.

Please see the article below from the August 2016 "Clinicians Report" comparing the CS 3600 from Carestream, iTero Element, PlanScan from Planmeca and the True Definition from 3M. 3Shape (Treos) declined to participate in the survey.

Intraoral scanners replace conventional impression materials. The digital impression and prescription are sent electronically to the clinician’s selected lab, saving time and effort. Or, if using an in-office mill, the restoration is designed, fabricated, and placed in a single visit. The following table shows key features of four scanners evaluated since CR’s previous study (see Clinicians Report March 2014).

Summary of controlled laboratory evaluation:

• All scanners tested had live 3D models with feedback for accurate data collection and captured adequate detail for excellent impressions. (Accuracy of full-arch scans were not evaluated in this study.)

• Greatest improvement was rapid scanning with fewer pauses due to system becoming “lost.” Fastest systems were CS 3600 and iTero Element.

Handpieces with best ergonomics and intraoral access were True Definition and CS 3600. Large handpieces are heavy and can be challenging on patients with limited opening.

• In-office milling expands scanner usefulness and treatment options. PlanScan had the best in-office milling integration.

• Cost varies with brand and system capabilities. Scanners with lowest initial cost were True Definition and PlanScan.

Clinical Feedback (survey responses from 352 scanner users)

• Scanner brands: 59% Cerec (Omnicam, Bluecam); 15% PlanScan (including E4D); 8% iTero; 7% True Definition; 7% Trios; 2% CS


• Satisfaction with digital impressions: 93% satisfied or very satisfied; 69% would purchase same system again

• Clinical situations where used: 98% single-unit crowns; 69% onlays; 50% inlays; 43% multi-unit fixed prosthodontics; 42% veneers;

16% orthodontic trays; 8–3% removable appliances (various types); 1% surgical guides

• In-office milling: 73% regularly use in-office design and milling; 27% scan only

• In-office milling materials: 66% IPS e.max CAD; 13% VITA Enamic; 12% Cerec Blocs; 11%

Celtra DUO; 9% Lava Ultimate; 8% Empress CAD; 6% CeraSmart; plus 9 additional materials


• Same-day-dentistry option for patients needing indirect restorations.

• Accuracy and quality of clinical treatment and restorations often improve due to large on-screen

view and attention to details.

• Discounted lab fee and faster turn-around time for digital impression sent electronically.


• High costs associated with equipment, data plans, training, and upgrades.

• Complexity and time required to learn equipment, perform scans, and adjust workflow and

patient scheduling, particularly when accomplishing in-office milling.

• Continued excellent service of VPS impression materials, particularly in situations where

scanning is less successful.

• Risk of over-treatment—doing a crown instead of more conservative options. • Unproven long-term clinical performance of new quick-milling materials.

CR Conclusions:

Digital impression scanning and in-office milling provide alternative treatment options not possible with conventional techniques. Newest scanner models and upgrades are faster and easier to use. Greatest advantage of in-office milling is elimination of second appointment. Use of digital impressions will increase, while in-office milling will continue to grow slowly. Major limitations continue to be cost and complexity of integrating new technology and digital workflow into clinical practice. Majority of users and patients are satisfied with performance.

Download a copy of the report here.

360 Visualise are specialist dental 3D digital imaging experts. Call us on 01943 601222