March 6th, 2014
Dentistry has never been at a more exciting time when it comes to the rise of technology to help service the needs of the patient. One of the best technological developments is the iTero digital scanner. How does an iTero work, and how can it help you?
iTero enables doctors to take a 3D digital scan of a patient’s teeth and bite so adjustments can be made digitally for the use of several important dental procedures. Let’s first start with how it works.
With the use of a small, handheld scanner, a dentist scans your teeth and makes sure to capture every angle possible. In some cases, the doctor must scan the entire mouth, while in others, only a section of the teeth. Either case, the process is very similar with the handheld device scanning every angle of teeth.
Once completed, the images are sent to the computer and rendered to create the composite image, which combines all angles to create a 3D model of your teeth. Once the image has loaded, doctors can use this to create everything from an Invisalign mold to full tooth implants. Here’s what procedures iTero helps the most:
With iTero, Invisalign has never been more accurate. With the 3D model of your teeth, doctors are able to manipulate your current teeth structure and bite to determine what will best help your teeth align. There’s no guessing when you can employ iTero to structure your teeth the way you would hope they looked. iTero will help create the several molds that would guide the patient through the teeth alignment process. Then, once approved, the digital files can be sent to a lab for mold creation. The process is faster for the doctor, the lab, but most importantly, the patient.
If a tooth is in bad shape and needs to be replaced or crowned, iTero is a great help. First, the doctor takes a scan of the tooth in question and the area around it. Once loaded, the doctor can review the scan and determine what would work as a solution. For a new tooth or crowns, the scan is sent to a lab where a model can be fabricated using the digital technology. Once created, the tooth is sent back to the office where the dentist is able to restore your tooth.
Even more interesting, doctors now have the capability of creating the restored tooth mold the same day with a chair side E4D Mill. First, a scan is made, then the doctor can design the new tooth mold on their computer and print the tooth in a very short amount of time. For implants, the process does take a little longer to complete and is needed to be sent to the lab. However for smaller needs, the E4D Mill is a great help.
Orthodontic and TMJ
Because the iTero is able to take a full scan of the teeth, it can be used to assist with orthodontic of TMJ issues. The full scan can be taken and reviewed by technicians to determine the alignment of your bite and if any steps need to be taken to help restore the functionality of your teeth and jaw.
Technology has come a long way since the start of dentistry. We’re excited for future advancements, and even more excited for the advancements happening today. With the use of iTero, we are able to help our patients get the service they need in a timely manner with exact precision. Here at Water Tower Dental, we use iTero specifically for Invisalign, but by taking advantage of another piece of technology we can help with Restoration, Orthodontic and TMJ. So if you're looking for more information on how we use technology in the office, and what it can do for your teeth, don't hesitate to contact us today!