What is 3D Intraoral Scanning?

What is 3D Intraoral Scanning?

Oct 25, 2023

Video Dental

Digital Dentistry has been a buzz word since the first intraoral camera came out in the early 80s. And almost every 3-5 years since, there's another dental tool that got zapped and transported into the digital age.

Intraoral 3D scanning is no different. The technology first came out around 1987 and became more popular in the late 2000s. Although it has seen growth as early as that time frame, it was nothing compared to the what we have seen in the last few years. It is safe to say that in 2023, never has there been a time when the market is flooded with so many different scanner brands and manufacturers. 

So what is 3D intraoral scanning and how does it work?

In a nutshell, intraoral scanning is a dental imaging technique that involves using a specialized device to capture highly detailed three-dimensional images of the insides of a patient's mouth. The technology is meant to digitize dental impressions hence the popular term "impression scanner."

Here's how intraoral 3D scanning typically works:

  1. Scanner Device: Dentists use a handheld, wand-like device that is equipped with a small camera or sensors. This device is inserted into the patient's mouth.   

  2. Image Capture: As the device is moved around the patient's oral cavity, it rapidly captures multiple images, often hundreds or even thousands of images per second. These images are then processed in real-time.

  3. 3D Reconstruction: The software associated with the intraoral scanner processes the 2D images to create a 3D digital model of the patient's teeth, gums, and surrounding structures. This model is highly accurate and can represent even fine details.

What are the advantages of intraoral 3D scanning over traditional dental impressions?

  1. Accuracy: The digital models created by intraoral scanners are highly accurate, reducing the likelihood of errors in diagnosis and treatment planning. 

  2. Comfort: Patients generally find intraoral scanning to be more comfortable than traditional impressions, as there is no need for messy and gooey impression materials.

  3. Efficiency: The scanning process is faster than traditional methods, which can save both the patient's and the dentist's time.

  4. Digital Records: The 3D digital models can be easily stored, shared, and manipulated on a computer, making it convenient for treatment collaboration and record-keeping.

  5. Custom Dental Restorations: Intraoral scanning is often used to create custom dental restorations, such as crowns, bridges, and aligners. The digital models can be sent directly to a dental lab or used with in-office milling machines for creating precise restorations.

  6. Orthodontics: Intraoral scanning is an essential tool in orthodontics for creating treatment plans, monitoring progress, and designing custom aligners.

      In summary, intraoral 3D scanning is a non-invasive and highly accurate technology used in dentistry to create detailed 3D representations of a patient's oral cavity. It has revolutionized the field by improving the patient experience and the quality of dental care.

Looking for a 3D scanner? Contact us at 800-3232690 or visit our website