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Digital Scan Williams Dental Lab

Which Digital Intraoral Scanner is BEST?

Over the past two years, I have immersed myself in “digital” and found out a ton of things.

  1. It is not easy
  2. Not everyone tells the truth
  3. Digital is AWESOME when things are organized and done correctly

There are six main scanner companies out there, 2 have milling capabilities, and a few other scanners were introduced at this year’s IDS in Germany.
THE MAIN 6 and an added 7th.

  1. Sirona, Cerec.  (Has a mill)
  2. Planscan…Planmill. e4d   (has a mill)
  3. 3M Tru def
  4. 3shape Trios
  5. Carestream
  6. Itero
  7. Condor, being released in 2015

(Side note- at the last Core 3 program at LVI we used the e4d scanner on all the emax restorations we made and things went very well.  Some of you saw might have seen the scanner in use.)
All of these main seven scanners  work, and we have lots of clients  with each one so we have “REAL” feedback from honest people as to which are best and which aren’t,  the efficiency, quickness of team adaptation, annual fees, etc…
Regarding the mills…e4D is better than Sirona.  My lab has both mills, so I am just speaking the truth the difference between these two mills is HUGE.  I have also found that most of our clients do not want to do in office milling.   So far, anyone interested in a milling unit that has visited our lab has chosen the e4d mill after seeing both in use.
Regarding powder, some Sirona units require powder, the 3M scanner requires a very light dusting of powder but is FAST at acquiring data and has a smaller wand than the rest.  The rest do not need powder.
Cost of the scanner is one portion of the equation.  Please look closely at the “data” fees or the annual licensing fee.  They are wide ranging.  Please, just be careful.
Once the intraoral scan is complete, the lab must be able to process that digital STL file.  (This part is HUGE)  Each scanner sends a slightly different STL file to the lab…. there is work involved with the STL file and in most cases (at least in my lab) we print a 3D model and fabricate the restoration using that model.  Side note: 3D Printing, when done accurately, is just as accurate as a PV impression and/or a milled model.  (The 3D printer you have and the parameters are SUPER CRITICAL)  I can prove it after tons of restorations, feedback from clients and digital X-rays.  It just works, and it is super-efficient we have found Sirona printed models to NOT be accurate.  Again…the 3D printer quality is everything!   Itero-milled models are accurate!

Typical questions we get;

  1. Can you do an NM orthotic by scanning?   YES
  2. Can you do a Nightguard?    YES
  3. Can you do Implant crowns and bridges?   YES (with a WILLIAMS digital scan body Call us if you need some 800-713-5390)
  4. Can you do both screw retained AND cemented restorations?  YES
  5. Can you print a 3D model from a scan that has a metal analogue in the printed model?  YES
  6. Diagnostic wax-ups?   YES
  7. Study models, Orthodontic models?  YES

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20 thoughts on “Which Digital Intraoral Scanner is BEST?”

  1. I am currently thinking about converting our office to digital impression taking. I am looking at both the 3 shape scanners and the iteros element scanner. Fom a lab standpoint which scanner do you feel offers a good combination of accuracy and easy itergration into the lab work environment? Does one system offer an advantage over another system?

  2. I am very interested in CAD CAM but taking a good decision it’s very difficult because there is no easy affordable and confident information, so the information you can give it’s quite appreciated. Hoping you can give more “lights” before I decide which scanner it´s the more convenient. Thanks.

  3. i am looking forward to use the intraoral scanner but it is really worth buying and which one is better
    as i read your story hope you can give more information regarding this issue

  4. I am looking to buy a scanner for full arch impressions for appliances. I don’t plan to mill or make crowns. Which scanner is the best choice, factoring in price and performance. So far I’ve tried the two Carestream scanners and they seem good.

  5. Hi
    Currently I have an I toro 2.9 scanner ( previous generation) but looking at the new trios 3 shape it looks far easier and quicker. Any comments
    Cheers Steve

  6. Is there an “open scanner” with no constant fees, just one and thats it. Im thinking on just scanning and send it to the lab. Have a dental office outside the US, so dont know if thats an inconvenience, so just want to purchase the scanner and end of story. Thanks for the prompt answer!!!

    1. Hi Randall!

      The Condor Intra Oral Scanner offers a completely open system, and charges no license fees, no click fees and gives you free software updates (it’s the only software-driven scanner on the market right now, based on an algorithm which means the software is constantly improving speed & accuracy)

  7. I am looking to set up the Milling machine in my lab with Scanner in the Clinic . Could you advice which one the best solution .
    Need to sent the scanning data to the CAD/CAM Directly after scan is complete .

  8. Doctors should ask themselves:-
    What do I want to do- chairside mill or continue the same workflow to my CAD/CAM lab(s)?
    Next question- I require a truly open system to give me the flexibility of sending to various labs/software companies WITHOUT charging me for the privilege.
    Next question- how much are the upgrades, are there licence/usage fees?
    Then the big question of- which one should I purchase. When my colleagues at Carestream AND our dealers get this question, I urge them to invite the dentist to a trial. If a dentist wants, for example, super-fast scanning, for use with Orthodontics, aligners, partial dentures, all types of restorative work, and scanning of implants (scan bodies etc), then I know our CS3600 would be more suitable than our CS3500, because ‘super fast’ accurately describes the CS3600.

    And when I say a ‘trial’ the dentist should trial the entire workflow- from scan, to lab, to fit). He/She can then gauge the reaction of the patient as well-0 I promise you 96% ( or so the survey says) will prefer the digital scan.

    Try all your shortlisted IO scanners at the same time, and then decide which one to buy. If you try them over a period of months, then in our instance (and others also) you will go round in circles as software upgrades are coming. If you think ‘Ill look to purchase at the end of the year’ then try them.

    Sunil, regarding your question- our Carestream units exports an open stl, compatible with all the open CAD/CAM systems. The files go directly to the lab in approx. 2-4mins depending on full arch or smaller scanning etc. Communication with your lab whilst your patient is in the chair is possible. Some others offer the same- and thereby hangs your problem:-)

    I cover UK, Baltics, Nordics, middle east, and South Africa. In my opinion, its neck and neck between our CS3600 and Trios. But as I mentioned, don’t take my word for it- have a trial of both

    The ADA study showed ALL io scanners were accurate for the various jobs you want to use them for. So the accuracy argument is irrelevant. Between Carestream, Trios, True-def, and Itero, there was approx. 10 microns between all IO scanners. And you cannot see below 40 microns, so they are ALL supremely accurate.

    I hope that helps.

  9. I have a Kavo Everest cam2 machine.Which intraoral scanner will fit best with my mill machine?
    Can someone give some advise

  10. the care stream scanner is awesome, the image quality gets 6 stars along with the features. its really popular here in houston.

  11. Now that the condor scan is available in the us, do you have any clients using it. I got a quote today for one and they are 19,900 US. It apparently uses a completely different technology to take the digital impressions..

  12. I am looking to purchase a scanner that is used intraorally and can scan impressions.
    I also want to print 3D models at my clinic. What would be the best option for me?

  13. hello
    I m looking for latest model of scanner and milling as per my need all work shold be done in one place . according to that need good suggestation I m from india here is very less using intra oral scanner I m lab owner kindly reply

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