Understanding iTero Scanner:  5 Things You Need to Consider

Understanding iTero Scanner: 5 Things You Need to Consider

Many people are familiar with clear aligners, but the iTero scanner might be less known. This device represents an advancement in dental technology, capturing detailed 3D images of your teeth. While traditional dental impressions often use putty, the iTero scanner offers an alternative method that aims to increase accuracy, efficiency, and patient comfort. It provides a less invasive option for patients, potentially reducing discomfort and anxiety associated with dental procedures for some individuals. However, it's important to note that its suitability can vary based on individual cases, and traditional methods may still be necessary in certain situations. The iTero scanner plays a significant role in modern dentistry, particularly in the realm of teeth straightening, by aiding in the precise planning and monitoring of treatments. Understanding its function and contribution to digital dentistry helps in appreciating its value in contemporary dental care.

What You Should Know about the iTero Scanner

The iTero scanner is a sophisticated device equipped with a hand-held scanning wand. It captures multiple images to create a 3D likeness of your teeth. This intraoral scan is particularly useful in forming a virtual model of your teeth, which can be invaluable in planning treatments like Invisalign.

While the iTero scanner is often used in conjunction with the clear aligner system, regarded by many professionals as an advanced option in the field, it is one of several available technologies. The development of the iTero scanner aimed to modernize the teeth moulding process, facilitating a digital method for planning Invisalign treatments.

How Does the iTero Scanner Work?

The iTero scanner is a non-invasive tool used in dental practices for creating detailed images of your teeth. The process is generally straightforward and comfortable. A dentist or trained dental professional uses a hand-held device, moving it around your mouth to capture a series of detailed images. This forms a comprehensive 3D model of your teeth.

Typically, the scanning process only takes a few minutes and does not require anesthesia. While some patients may feel slight pressure as the scanner moves, it is usually not uncomfortable.

The iTero scanner's 3D imaging is particularly useful in planning for treatments like Invisalign. It employs near-infrared imaging (NIRI) technology, which provides detailed views of the internal structure of the teeth. This advanced feature aids dentists in understanding the condition of your teeth more comprehensively. However, it's important to note that while the iTero scanner offers a sophisticated view of your teeth's structure, it complements other forms of dental examinations and diagnostics. As with any dental tool, the iTero scanner's effectiveness and suitability for a particular treatment or diagnosis may vary between individuals. Always consult with your dentist for a complete assessment of your oral health.

What are the Features of the iTero Scanner?

The iTero scanner offers a range of features designed to enhance orthodontic and restorative dental practices, with the understanding that outcomes may vary depending on individual cases:

  • Advanced Imaging Technology: iTero scanners utilize parallel confocal imaging technology, combining laser and optical scanning to produce detailed, color scans. This technology is useful in various dental procedures, such as bridges, restorative crowns, and custom implant abutment cases, though its effectiveness can vary.
  • Compatibility with Invisalign System: The scanners are engineered for integration with the Invisalign system. This includes features like the exclusive Invisalign Outcome Simulator and Progress Assessment tool, aiding in treatment planning and patient engagement.  
  • Enhanced Visualization and Patient Communication: iTero Element scanners offer 3D imaging capabilities, enabling dentists to clearly demonstrate findings during examinations and improve chairside communication.  
  • Speed and Efficiency: The scanners are designed for rapid scan processing, capable of completing full arch scans in approximately 60 seconds, enhancing patient experience and saving time.  
  • Ergonomic Design: The iTero Element 2 scanner features a 21.5-inch touch widescreen with high-definition color imaging, facilitating engaging chairside consultations. The design of the scanner and wand is recognized for its ergonomic qualities.  
  • Integrated Software Features: Features like iTero Time Lapse track changes in teeth and gums over time, providing insights for diagnosis and patient education. However, these are supplementary tools and should be used in conjunction with a full dental assessment.

What are the Benefits of Choosing the iTero Scanner?

Using the iTero scanner for Invisalign treatments offers several potential benefits for patients:

  • Comfort: Many patients find the iTero scanner more comfortable compared to traditional putty impressions. However, experiences may vary.  
  • Efficiency: The iTero scanner is capable of providing images of your teeth faster than traditional methods. Patient scans can often be completed within 60 seconds, potentially reducing the overall time spent in the dental clinic.  
  • Treatment Visualization: The iTero scanner includes the Invisalign Outcome Simulator Pro3, which allows you to see simulations of your potential post-treatment appearance. This feature offers the opportunity to preview a digital representation of your new smile and discuss treatment options with your dentist.  
  • Compatibility with Invisalign: While Invisalign treatment can be performed with traditional putty impressions, using the iTero scanner can enhance comfort and predictability. It's important to discuss with your dentist whether the iTero intraoral scanner is a suitable option for your specific needs.

Is the iTero Scanner a Safe Choice?

The iTero scanner is generally considered a safe option for dental imaging. It is a non-invasive tool, and most patients find the scanning process to be comfortable. While the procedure is typically pain-free, experiences can vary depending on individual sensitivity.

The design of the iTero scanner takes patient comfort into consideration. However, the safety and effectiveness of the scanner are also dependent on its use by a trained and experienced dental professional. When undergoing a procedure involving the iTero scanner, it's important to ensure that it is being operated by a qualified dentist or orthodontist. They will have the expertise to use the device appropriately, ensuring a safe and comfortable experience.

How Can You Book an Appointment for iTero Scanning?

To explore the benefits of the iTero scanner, particularly if you're considering Invisalign treatment, you'll need to book an appointment with an Invisalign-trained doctor who uses this technology. You can do this by contacting a dental clinic that offers Invisalign services and inquiring about iTero scanning.

During your appointment, the Invisalign provider will assess your dental needs to advise whether Invisalign is an appropriate treatment option for you. If it is, they will guide you through the Invisalign process, including the use of the iTero scanner.

The iTero scanner is known for its ability to quickly and comfortably produce 3D images of your teeth, which are used in planning your Invisalign treatment. One of its notable features is the capability to provide a real-time simulation of your new smile. However, it's important to remember that experiences with the iTero scanner can vary, and your dentist or orthodontist is best placed to discuss its suitability for your specific case.

You may book an appointment for Invisalign treatment and straighter your teeth from us. It’s important to discuss your individual needs and suitability for treatments, including the use of the iTero scanner, during this consultation. Our clinic offers Invisalign treatment, and we're here to guide you through the process, ensuring that you receive personalized care tailored to your dental health goals.