iTero Scanner for 3D Modeling

Locations in Edina & Maple Grove to Better Serve You

iTero Scanner for Precise Orthodontics

The world of digital technology has an impact on every industry imaginable. The improvements in manufacturing, entertainment, medicine, travel and food and beverage have had daily impacts on our lives. Whether it be through safety, cost or convenience. For example, they can put devices literally into your heart to view on a monitor the functions of the chambers. Now the same thing can be done with teeth. As of late digital technology has done the same for the industry of dentistry. Let us introduce you to the iTero Scanner and what the use of said device means to both yourself and your orthodontic dentist.

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iTero Scanner information

Imagine a device just slightly larger than an electric toothbrush. That’s it, the iTero Scanner. A hand-held device that weighs less than a pound that can generate a 3-D, full color model of your teeth and gums. Let’s look at the inception of the iTero Scanner and the biggest benefit today for the iTero scanner, that being the breakthrough product for orthodontic procedures, the Invisalign process.

History of The Scanner

The iTero scanner is part of a system. First used in 1995 it was released as a commercial product in 2001. It initially allowed the scanning of conventional stone models of teeth to produce 3-D computer images. In 2006 the first generation of the system that we know today came into fruition. The iTero Digital Impression System with quadrant scans of your mouth, matched with a CAD-CAM, which stands for computed aided design, computer aided manufacturing, could make those 3-D models and help with inlays, onlays, crowns, implant abutments and veneers. In 2008 full arch scanning was added which allowed the inclusion of bonded and cantilever bridges.

The parallel introduction of the Invisalign Treatment

For years if you wanted your teeth corrected for improper alignment, gaps, to straighten teeth or bite patterns you had to move your teeth with the pressure and force of metal wires. In the late 1990s four grad students at Stanford devised the process of using the CAD/CAM system to create plastic trays that would apply the force necessary to move the teeth. The system was approved by the FDA in 1999 and it very slowly started to gain traction in the world of orthodontics. By 2004 175,000 patients had used Invisalign. Initially an impression was made of the teeth, a stone model made and then the CAD/CAM created the models projecting the changes to reach the final goal. The trays move the teeth .25 of a millimeter at one time and are designed to be changed every two weeks. The process has gained traction to where today over five million patients, of which over one million are teenagers, have successfully used the Invisalign process. The introduction of the iTero Scanner eliminated the messy impressions and stone models. With the ever improving and upgrading of technology both Dr. Pan and the patient can witness the entire process via the CAD/CAM images immediately while you the patient are still in the chair.

The Benefits of the iTero Scanner for both You and the Dentist

The first generation of the scanner as we know it today was introduced into the process in 2009. With the introduction of this simple little wand it has now revolutionized the offices of Dr. Pan. You don’t need a mirror to see your teeth. In fact, sitting in that chair and looking at the monitor positioned next to you your entire set of teeth, upper and lower, front and back, can be readily visible to yourself and the staff working with Dr. Pan. Think about the virtual walk throughs that an architect can create from a set of blueprints. The general practice dentist, or in this case the orthodontist Dr. Pan, can see your teeth and address any one of a number of issues. The system continues to improve on regular basis. The wand is smaller and lighter making it easier for both the staff and yourself. An antifogging patent will further improve imaging. The wand and system capture 6,000 frames per second. Everything has become easier, quicker and more precise for the dentist and you the patient reap the benefits of those improvements.

Another huge benefit for patient is that when treatment if finished and you love your new smile, the scanned digital models of your new smile can be stored for long term retainer production. Only in the past decades did orthodontic community determined with scientific and statistical evidence, that teeth are made to move. The only way to guarantee teeth in the same position as when treatment is just finished is to commit to a life-time routine of retainer wear. Now with the digital scanned model of your beautiful teeth at the end of the treatment, even if you are traveling thousands of miles away from home and need a new pair of retainers, we can 3D print them and send them your way! That is a revolution.

The Impact of the iTero Scanner

Even though the biggest impact of the iTero Scanner is the ease to which Invisalign keeps getting better and more efficient the iTero Scanner can help the dentist with other solutions for your dental needs. The iTero Scanner and the CAD/CAM system can help Dr. Pan with the crown that is necessary on a molar. Now you can see that molar in 3D on a monitor right next to you. If the staff needs to fabricate a bridge the iTero Scanner will help with precision fits for the abutment teeth and the artificial tooth. You might need a dental implant and the system will help with the precision necessary in working with a dental lab.

The single biggest category is the growth in popularity of the Invisalign treatment system. To clarify, instead of brackets on your teeth and arch wires applying the pressure, the Invisalign system is several dozen trays you wear 20 to 22 hours a day that are designed for the CAD/CAM system to apply the force necessary to move your teeth. The system is popular for teenagers and adult that are self-conscious of having the braces visible with their smile. The Invisalign system allows you to remove the trays to continue to properly brush and floss your teeth. If you have a business presentation you can remove them. If you have wedding photos you can remove them. A game of basketball or football doesn’t need specific mouth guards to protect your braces because you simply remove the trays.

Meet Dr. Pan

Pan Orthodontics Philosophy

To treat our patients as our families and to treat others as how we want to be treated. From your first phone call to the moment your new smile is born, everything in our office is set up to ensure an excellent experience with us. We will always listen to you and improve with your suggestions.

Patient Information

Our Commitment to You

We will continue to keep up with the ever growing digital technologies to improve your orthodontic experience. We also commit to always help you find the most convenient time for your visit with us.