First launched in 2007, iTero has created an intraoral scanner that completely changed the way dentists interact with their patients. Rather than relying on crude putties and pastes to make less-than-accurate molds, the dental scanners from iTero capture hundreds of thousands of images to create detailed renders in a matter of minutes. When compared to their 2D photographic counterparts, these 3D scans offer greater insights into the unique shapes of a patient’s teeth and jaw.
Using a wand-like apparatus, the dentist carefully moves the wand around the patient’s mouth. Each second, thousands of frames are taken. These frames are compiled into a 3D visualization of the patient’s mouth. Unlike other dental scanners, the actual wand from iTero is much smaller, allowing dentists the chance to get to the back of the patient’s mouth and scanning the backs of their molars. Thanks to the compact design, dentists can still get accurate scans, even if the patient cannot open their mouth wide, and the wand is less likely to cause the patient to gag.
One of the best parts of the iTero system is that it records and presents the scans in near real-time. This allows the dentist to take additional scans if needed, rather than waiting for results from a lab. This saves patients and dentists time and the potential for headaches. A complete scan can be taken in around 5-10 minutes, with a detailed report compiled just minutes later.
In the past, dentists have relied on dental impressions in order to create things like retainers, dental implants, and other oral health devices. But dental impressions aren’t a great option for some patients. The goopy, paste-like material can quickly spread in the mouth, causing some patients to gag. Other patients just struggle with the distinct taste of the alginate material that used to make the impressions. Finally, these molds aren’t always as accurate as they could and should be.
iTero addresses all of these issues thanks to its clever design and useful digital modeling processes.
The value of real-time data collection and projection is obvious. It allows dentists to have more detailed dialogues about oral health with their patients. But iTero also helps dentists create more detailed dental health records that can help show how a patient’s teeth have moved or changed over time. Using a variety of data sets, dentists can create digital models that show changes in oral health over time, which can help them make treatment decisions for their patients.
The data gathered by iTero is more useful to your dentist because it has a greater degree of accuracy than other ways to get an impression of your oral health. This allows your dentist to make minute changes to your treatment plans that could have a huge impact. Ultimately, the data collected by each iTero device can be used for any orthodontic treatment, including the ever-popular option of Invisalign braces.
One of the reasons that Invisalign is so popular is because of how remarkably comfortable they are. Each clear aligner braces tray seamlessly fits over your teeth and doesn’t agitate your gum line. Of course, the reason that these braces are so comfortable is because each Invisalign tray is made using the incredible detailed digital models created using iTero.
Another reason that Invisalign is a popular option is because it has a much faster timeline than traditional wire and bracket braces. The Invisalign system involves changing out your trays every one to two weeks. The only way this is possible is because of the predictive modeling that iTero offers. Dentists and their patients can walk through the treatment timeline, and see how the patient’s teeth will shift and change over time. This means that patients can have all of their braces sent to them at once, limiting the need for constant trips to the dentist’s office.
Valley Ridge Dental is dedicated to offering comfortable, effective dental care. We’ve designed all of our services and our offices to provide a relaxed and focused atmosphere so you can enjoy every minute you spend with us.
As part of our commitment to putting your comfort first, we’re excited to be able to offer iTero intraoral scanning. We can use this technology in our general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry services, and can help you enjoy an Invisalign braces treatment option as well. To see how iTero technology can help you enjoy a greater quality of oral health, schedule a visit at our dentist office in Lake Elmo today!