StraightSmile Solutions believes that all doctors should invest in an intraoral scanner. It is a “no brainer” to us.
By now we are aware of the benefits of intraoral scanners and what we should be looking for when purchasing one: speed, improved carbon footprint, accuracy, an open system, and flexible workflows. There are so many scanner options, this investment is often an overwhelming decision. I would strongly recommend you attend a dental show with your staff and physically try the scanner out.
Here are a few variables you might want to consider when selecting the right scanner for you and your practice:
1. Tidy and Realistic Graphics
A clean and pretty scan is an incredibly powerful tool to educate patients, especially in the co-discovery consultation process. Patients have a very positive reaction to seeing their mouths in the virtual world almost instantly, and the feedback is incredible: attrition, abfractions, alignment… and that’s just the A’s!
2. Easy Exporting and Integration, Open Platforms, and Monthly Fees
Some scanner companies make you jump through hoops to export the images to labs and other design companies. I would be wary of any scanning company directly owned by an aligner company unless you are solely and 100% dedicated to that brand of aligners.
With open systems, you can send files to almost any service that can receive them. But even today, not all systems are totally open, so it’s important to research all of the systems you consider.
3. Ease of Use, Comfort, and Portability
When investing in new technology, it’s always good practice to take your staff’s feedback into consideration. After all, they’ll most likely have their hands on it the most. Will the scanner stay in one room or will it need to travel from op to op or from office to office? How heavy and bulky is the wand? Do any of your team members currently have wrist or shoulder issues? Are your patients mostly children or adults? Some of the wand sizes are too big to be comfortable for young patients.
4. Training, Repairs, Warranties, Service, and Support
Do you have a team member who is already a whiz with this scanner or will you need training and support? The first few months can be frustrating. Make sure you get training and support if and when you need it. How long is the wait period once you purchase before you can schedule your training and onboarding session? Ask this before you buy. Get referrals and references from 5-10 other doctors who are using this system to find out more. What happens if the system breaks? How long does it take to get repairs or a replacement?
Scanners can range from 15k -50K plus monthly or export fees. Find out the total fees and if there is any financing or leasing options. Does the scanner include the monitor or do you need to buy a computer? How much are extra tips if they break?