Over the past two years, I have immersed myself in “digital” and found out a ton of things.
- It is not easy
- Not everyone tells the truth
- 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.
- Sirona, Cerec. (Has a mill)
- Planscan…Planmill. e4d (has a mill)
- 3M Tru def
- 3shape Trios
- 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;
- Can you do an NM orthotic by scanning? YES
- Can you do a Nightguard? YES
- Can you do Implant crowns and bridges? YES (with a WILLIAMS digital scan body Call us if you need some 800-713-5390)
- Can you do both screw retained AND cemented restorations? YES
- Can you print a 3D model from a scan that has a metal analogue in the printed model? YES
- Diagnostic wax-ups? YES
- Study models, Orthodontic models? YES