Scanning manufacturers are raising the standards for speed, image quality and accuracy.
Spurred by the spirit of competition and pursuit of market share, scanning manufacturers have raised the standards for their image quality, speed and accuracy. Dr. Chad Duplantis, DDS, a private practice dentist from Fort Worth, Texas, and frequent lecturer on digital dentistry, says all the scanners employ enhanced speed, accuracy, and ease of use for the dentist.
“I don’t know what the computer scientists are doing; I’d be lying if I tried to tell you that,” he says, laughing. “But over the past several years, every scanner software has improved to a certain extent.”
Dr. John Flucke, DDS, a private practice dentist in Lee’s Summit, Missouri., is impressed with how the technology has evolved already.
“The results with the scanners now are better than I thought they'd be,” he says. “The folks that design and create these devices have taken this technology to the point where it's just so doggone easy.”
So, what are the ways that scanning software has improved? Here’s what our experts had to say.
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Is it time to invest in scanning?
Dr. Gatgens is impressed with the improved features of scanning software from units that are powder-free to those that produce color scans, as well as units that shade match, all features that he sees as beneficial to a dental practice. When it comes to investing in technology, Dr. Gatgens has two questions he asks himself:
“As the technologies continue to improve, the answers to these questions would both be yes,” Dr. Gatgens says. “Technology is how things are going in dentistry for the future and that means better outcomes for our patients. Ultimately, that’s how our decisions have to be made.”
Dr. Flucke is an advocate for scanning over traditional impressions. He believes it is not a technology that is “still working the bugs out.” He also will no longer accept the argument that someone can take a better traditional impression than what the scanner takes. He compares it to the arguments regarding moving to digital X-rays, when doctors said film was more accurate.
“A picture the size of a postage stamp is never going to give me as much information as an image on a 24-inch widescreen monitor. That's not even open for discussion. It's the same way with scanning vs. traditional impressions,” Dr. Flucke says.
As far as the reliability, speed and accuracy of scanning software, he thinks the technology is essential to today’s practicing dentist.
“It's not hard to do. It's not hard to learn. It is so simple. And the results are so good,” Dr. Flucke says. “It's no longer an 'if' technology; it's a 'when' technology."