The iTero digital scanner represents a leap forward in orthodontic technology that makes the whole process of imaging the inside of the mouth much quicker and easier than it used to be.
In the 'olden days', the process of taking accurate impressions of the alignment of teeth involved using special dental putty that was pasted directly on to the teeth and then waiting for a few minutes for the putty to set. A number of impressions would generally need to be taken, and it was not uncommon for an impression to break or to be incorrectly placed. The entire process could be somewhat lengthy and a little uncomfortable.
Technology has come to the rescue with the iTero intraoral digital scanner. The scanner completely replaces the need for any putty or the manual taking of impressions.
The new process now simply involves putting a 'digital wand' into the mouth, which takes a full 360-degree impression of the inside of the mouth, the teeth and gums using laser and optical scanning technology.
A very accurate 3D image is then produced which can be used to show the patient what the effect of any treatment might be, and to send away if any orthodontics devices need to be made up.
The scanner is not only much quicker (it takes around 10 minutes to complete a scan) and more comfortable than the previous method, its accuracy means that incorrect alignments are reduced by a factor of around 7. This also almost eliminates the need for appointments to re-do the process, which would happen much more frequently using the old technique.
The iTero scanner is particularly useful for creating accurate imaging for the production of Invisalign aligners, in fact the iTero scanner is manufactured by the same company.
A scan using the iTero machine is very helpful at an initial orthodontic assessment where it helps the patient visualise immediately (on a monitor screen) and clearly how any treatment will work to correct the orthodontic issues they have.