3D Scanners for the Dental Sector

Published on March 12, 2018 by Jamie D.
dental 3d scanner

Mihai-Catalin Palincas opened his own independent dental business called AC Smile almost 2 years ago. He made this decision after working in several dental laboraties. Based in Paris, he now services orthodontic practitioners interested in dental 3D scanner services.

The main advantage of using a 3D scanner is the ability to digitise patients’ jaws and mouths and store them on a virtual server. This creates sizeable space savings, especially since practitioners are obliged by law to keep models of their patients for at least 10 years. These digital files allow for more flexibility and easier viewing through multiple viewpoints of the model via a computer.

dental 3d scanner

Choosing a 3D scanner

To better equip himself, a prosthetist approached Jean-Michel Delannoy at Machines-3D. He met Jean-Michel at a faire dedicated to dental in Lille. After listening to his production needs, Jean-Michel turned to the AutoScan-DS200+ 3D scanner by Shining3D, based on structured blue light technology. Unlike laser triangulation or white light technologies, blue light helps to overcome external factors such as flickering neon lights or changes in brightness.

This choice was also made based on the scanners’ lower price compared to other models on the market. Additionally, the 3D scanners’ scan speed (taking less than a minute to digitise a jaw), quality (resolution below 0.015 mm), and the absence of an annual license fee made it the best option available. The Machines-3D team now offer a range of innovative solutions for the dental industry. These range from 3D printers, 3D scanners, and thermoformers.

dental 3d scanner

The Steps Involved in 3D scanning

After receiving training from the 3D-Machines team and calibrating the equipment, the prosthetist was ready to use his 3D scanner. This process begins when you have the physical mold of the patient’s teeth made by the orthodontist using alginic acid. You then simply enter the file number, the patient’s name, and the practitioner using the dental 3D scanning software DentalScan.

The second step is for the prosthetist to cast the rough plaster models of the patient’s two arches. These are then placed within the 3D scanner’s platform to scan in 3 different positions: a scan of the arches on top of one another, a scan of the lower arch, and a scan of the upper arch. This last stage of 3D scanning can be done in less than a minute and creates a finished model of the jaw in an STL file format.

Finally, the file is reworked using Maestro3D software. This cleans the file, creates a virtual base, measures the distances between teeth, their dimensions, and more. This allows the orthodontist to prepare the digital model and create an effective treatment plan.

dental 3d scanner

Advantages of 3D scanning

Jean Michel Delannoy of Machines-3D sees the benefit of these technologies in the dental industry. He says “the advent of 3D printing and 3D scanners is a real evolution for the dental world. The new methods to manufacture prosthetics, but also of practitioners, can now save time, save material, and also save a significant amount of space. We therefore skip several steps that were once essential to manufacturing.”

With increasingly affordable equipment and ever more precise quality, it has never been easier for dental professionals to equip themselves with the latest 3D scanners. The key is the entire chain, from the laboratory to the patient to the practitioner, who benefit from this innovation.

You can compare all different kinds of 3D scanners in our Comparator here.

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