I just got back from Lab day in Chicago and looked at plenty of scanners. Just wondering what kind of scanners every one is using in your laboratories and what your experiences are regarding margin integrity and fit, along with how how easy it is to use.
The team finds it easier to control the positioning of the model on the screen. In addition they think editing form is also more easily done on the Dental Wings CAD. But keep in mind the 3shape is more versatile.
I do not personally use the current scanners but from my experience and what I am hearing from others who have you need to go OPEN ARCHITECTURE all the way - no questions asked and 3Shape is the leader and has released new partial software and will have abutment design over Dental Wings.
Also the new intraoral open architecture scanners will enable labs to no longer have to buy a scanner but instead purchase an intraoral scanner and use this to scan the impression or model. Expect to see deals on scanners and software- look at what Zahn is doing with Dental Wings to get people to buy their impression / model scanner.
Also most of the impression scanners from 3Shape and Dental Wings are good for posterior but do not believe them about anterior - way too many angulation issues and truely obtaining accurate data from the incisal edge of an anterior tooth.
I was one of the five panelists at the Jensen meeting. I was actually very surprised. It seemed as though we were all on the same page.
I have both Dental Wings and 3shape scanners. I feel they are both very good and will continue to get better. Currently, 3shape may have the edge on versatility but my CAD staff actually prefers DW. You need to determine if scanning impressions and designing implant supported restorations digitally are processes that you will embrace. If so, I would go with 3shape.
I also own a Cerec and it isn’t plugged in. Haven’t used it in about a year. The results you are getting are similar to my experience. There was a meeting, CAL LAB in Chicago on Thursday and Friday they probably had about 800 lab owners attending. They posed a question “Please put up your hand if you own a Cerec machine". About 300 people raised their hand. Then they said “How many of you would buy it again" all but 5 people dropped their hands. I am thinking about putting it on ebay.
Ruth Iverson said:
Thank you for forwarding the blog. We have the Sirona in lab and have not had sucess in getting good margins or fit, and the software is not very easy to manipulate. What is designed on the screen is not what we get out of the milling machine, We also use the Procera Forte, I like the new scanner and it is easy to use, not sure if we should upgrade though due to the fact they are not open architecture. I like the company though and believe that they will get there eventually. What do you think of the 3shape and dental wings?
Bob Cohen CDT said:
I just got back as well. What a show!!!
I had posted a blog on scanners on my company’s website. I have copied and pasted it below. I hope you find it helpfull.
We have five different scanners and there are many pros and cons.
Today’s scanner market is abundant with choices. Fortunately, there is significant competition in this arena to force continued development. There are scanners using white light, lasers, conoscopic holography and touch, in order to obtain digital data of unique forms. There are several considerations when determining which scanner best meets your needs.
Most of the manufacturers publish accuracies of 10-25 microns. Interestingly, there is no standardization for testing scanner accuracy. As a result, comparing scanner accuracy based on information obtained from manufacturers will not necessarily provide you with apple to apple comparison. The good news is, many of the scanners available to dental technology are adequately accurate for our needs.
There are two or three differences or classifications of scanner systems. There are those with open architecture and others that are closed. Open architecture systems allow you to output you design data (or STL file) to many different output machines as well as many different outsource facilities. The closed systems, require you to use only one outsource manufacturer. Not surprisingly, this is often the company selling the scanner. When purchasing a closed system you are locked into a single manufacturer. Thus, time frame, pricing, products and materials are fully controlled by the company selling the device. In some cases these systems are single use, one product scanners. The third scanner type is selectively open architecture. This group will be partially restrictive or selectively open. For instance, the Lava Scan ST falls into this category (as well as others). You can produce STL files for a limited number of output devices. You are totally restricted however, from using any other zirconia other than Lava. In addition, 3M maintains full control of what you can have fabricated with their scanner. Conclusion: Unless you are sold on a specific product, purchase a system with fully open architecture.
CAD (computer aided design) software comes with most scanners. This is the software which enables you to develop the final form of the restoration. The software packages currently being sold have a large variation in sophistication. In other words, If we can design a perfect crown using scanner “A” in 5 minutes and scanner “B”requires 20 minutes to obtain the same result, the selection process becomes more obvious. Ultimately, the winner of the scanner and CAD battle will be the company developing software providing the best initial design offering, thus requiring little to no additional CAD related work. Please keep in mind when you attend laboratory shows, manufacturers often demo their own scanners and CAD software. The cases they demo are ideal cases they (personally) have designed many times. As a result, they often make it appear much easier than it really is.
Applications are an additional consideration. Do you only want to design copings? Who will produce the work you CAD? Do you want to design implant abutments? Would you like to scan impressions and have automated, inexpensive, highly accurate models and dies? What about being able to produce many parts at the same time?
There are a few more items to consider before you buy. I recommend looking at scan time. How long does it take to scan a die, adjacent teeth and opposing model (or bite registration). Also, evaluate initial training and long term software and hardware support. Does the supplier provide loaners if your scanner goes down? Once you start to scan you will become very dependent on this device. In our facility, a designer can produce about 60 units per day.
Conclusion: For one scanner labs, I recommend fully open architecture only. This will provide you with more choices and greater potential. Good luck, do your home work first, scanners usually sell for about $30K.