For more than 5 years, iTero has helped dental professionals improve patient care and increase overall practice efficiency.
Accuracy, versatility, and ease of use all come to mind when thinking about dental impressions. Historically, dentists have relied on various types of impression materials to create impressions for restorations. These materials and techniques come with expenses related to material costs, staff time, and sometimes inaccurate impressions that require retakes and chairside adjustment.
Luckily for dental professionals and patients, dentistry is now in the digital age, and digital impressions are increasingly popular. Digital impressions not only help improve patient care, but can increase practice efficiency.
For more than 5 years, Align Technology?s iTero has provided both of these features?it has improved patient care and increased practice efficiency. In addition, iTero has helped many practices set themselves apart from others with forward-thinking and cuttingedge technology.
Since iTero was first launched in 2006, the technology behind this digital impression system has continued to expand with a growing range of indications, increasing ease of use and improving lab communication.
Using state-of-the-art powder-free scanning technology, iTero can easily capture digital impressions of supragingival and subgingival preparations. This provides a better experience for the patient and allows the clinician to make immediate chairside corrections.
iTero can be used as an aid in treatment planning by integrating its STL files with third-party CAD/CAM systems, CBCT scan files, and digital orthodontic treatment services. iTero is compatible with many CAD/CAM systems that are used in dental laboratories, ensuring a variety of treatment options. In addition, iTero is the only digital impression system that is integrated with Invisalign. Using the Interoperability feature of iTero?s software, clinicians can effectively diagnose patients who may benefit from Invisalign treatment.
The technology behind iTero is parallel confocal imaging, which captures a 3D digital impression of the tooth surface, contours, and gingival structure. It captures 100,000 points of laser light and captures 3.5 million data points for each arch. iTero also can be used to capture preparations for crowns, bridges, inlays, and onlays. The parallel light emission used with this systems means that the device does not need to be held a set distance from the tooth and it can even touch the teeth, allowing it to detect angled contours.
A series of patient-customized visual and verbal prompts guide the clinician throughout the scanning process. In about 15 to 20 seconds, facial, lingual, mesioproximal and disto-proximal views are recorded for each preparation. The clinician then scans adjacent teeth from the facial and lingual aspect.
The Numbers Have It
Align Technology recently announced that iTero has been used to create more than 750,000 restorations. The company also indicates that restorations created with iTero fit at seating 99.5% of the time with no chairside adjustment and remakes are reduced from about 3% to less than 1%.
These numbers help to explain iTero?s growth over the past 5 years. When restorations fit and with little to no adjustment at the seating appointment, both patients and clinicians are happy.