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Most dental professionals have heard of digital dental scanners which take the place of traditional impression material. Considering incorporating this piece of equipment into your practice may be scary at first. How can a simple wand scan a prep or arch with the accuracy of traditional impression material? Believe it or not, it’s happening in more and more offices around the world. Furthermore, these scanners are state of the art and take incredible impressions, and the finished restorations are flawless often needing no adjustment.

Imagine prepping a tooth for a crown, and instead of loading impression material into a tray, you use this magic wand to go around the prep methodically and send the scan off to the lab for fabrication of the restoration. Additionally, if you choose, you can purchase a machine that is placed in your office milling the crown at the same appointment. The patient comes in for a crown and leaves with the permanent crown on the same day.

Being able to tell the patient that you will no longer have to load their mouth with undesirable impression material while they gag may be a game changer. They may also be able to leave the appointment with their permanent crown in place negating the need for a temporary crown and another appointment.

Scanning dental impressions are growing more and more popular and cost effective because they are continuing to drop in price, and some manufacturers offer the scanner at a much-reduced price as long as you use their lab for the restoration fabrication.

If you’re debating as to whether or not to try a scanner, go ahead and at least give it a try. Most companies will send a representative to your office with a scanner and provide a demonstration. This opportunity will be instrumental in your decision. There is a learning curve, but if you keep an open mind and give it a chance, you may find it to be a great addition to your practice.