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    Making digital impressions affordable with Heron IOS

    Improvements in ergonomics and flexibility have made this scanner a great chairside option.

    Scanner technology has changed a lot in the past three years. Sigrid Smitt Goldman, CEO and chairman of 3DISC, says dentists who feel resistant to adding or replacing intraoral scanners to their practice should take another look with the Heron IOS. From changes in functionality to speed to comprehensive capability, Smitt Goldman says Heron IOS isn’t the same technology intraoral scanners used to be.

    “Market research tells us dental professionals are looking for improvement in ergonomics. They are looking for increased training and reduced costs. That’s where we are sitting,” she says of the Heron IOS, which started shipping in the third quarter of 2018. 

    Smitt Goldman and the team at 3DISC undertook market research. Their analysis revealed one of the barriers to buying an intraoral scanner was that scanners on the market weren’t comfortable; they were often too heavy and clunky.

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    The Heron Intraoral Scanner (IOS) is an optical impression system. It produces three-dimensional models for dental restorations. Designed to rest in a dental professional’s hand, the scanner weighs 145 grams, lightweight when compared to other intraoral scanners on the market. It also has a built-in heater designed to prevent fogging. The rotatable tip twists 360 degrees and allows dental professionals to scan areas of the mouth that can feel awkward when scanning with heavier intraoral units.

    “When you need to scan an upper, instead of turning the whole unit 180 degrees to where it’s no longer comfortable, we made it so you can rotate the tip instead. So, you can maintain your comfortable grip on a very lightweight scanner to get everything done,” Smitt Goldman says.

    Another area of concern 3DISC addresses for dental professionals was cost, particularly ongoing expenses not part of the purchase price. Some agreements have fees for every time you use the scanner, for software upgrades or cloud storage.

    Heron IOS“First, you have product acquisition, but then it’s ongoing with licensing costs, software update costs and things like that, which make the overall cost of ownership very high,” Smitt Goldman explains of other intraoral scanner purchase agreements. “We wanted to create a model where you buy the scanner at a reasonable price and then you don’t have to pay anything additional.”

    3DISC also addressed the size of scanners on the market with the Heron IOS. Smitt Goldman says many scanners currently available look formidable.

    “They don’t look it in pictures, but when you see them up close, they are large and a little scary for patients. We wanted to create something that could sit chairside and not be obtrusive that the patient is going to be comfortable with,” she explains.

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    The improvements in ergonomics and flexibility don’t come at the cost of performance, Smitt Goldman says. The Heron IOS delivers a fast, precise and accurate scan. 3DISC is proud of their accuracy and precision numbers (25/18 microns, respectively). The team wanted a balance between getting the most precision and accuracy and a scanner that’s fast and robust.

    “You don’t have to reach far and it doesn’t take 15 minutes to complete a scan. It’s a five-minute operation to do a full mouth,” Smitt Goldman says. 

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