If you’ve ever had a physical mold impression made for a dental procedure, such as an Invisalign orthodontic tray, dental crowns, or implants, you know it’s a messy and sometimes uncomfortable process. Then you have to wait a couple of weeks before a dental lab can craft the final item for your dentist to place. But Dr. Shervin Louie has revolutionary technology that makes all that unnecessary: the iTero advanced intraoral scanner.
Introduced in 2007 and constantly improved, the high-tech iTero is still not common among dental practices. What it produces is a highly-accurate 3-D image of the inside of your mouth that allows Dr. Louie to be able to plan treatment with much more knowledge than most other dentists have when they start.
A small scanning wand is gently moved around the patient’s mouth taking 6,000 frames a second for a few minutes. The images are projected onto a screen so that you and he can discuss your oral health needs and the best options. Areas of the mouth that are otherwise hard to see, like the back molars, can be easily scanned without discomfort.
This eliminates the need to sit in a dental chair to have a traditional dental impression, which makes many patients uncomfortable and some even gag on the goop. And instead of having to ship a physical mold back and forth between a dental lab, the iTero digital image of the area to be worked on can be submitted immediately, greatly speeding up the process and improving the fit of the resulting dental appliance compared with physical impressions (which often are not well done, resulting in having to be redone).
In the case of Invisalign, its “outcome simulator” allows us to show you how your orthodontic process is expected to proceed even before your first aligner is made. This is because of the “open architecture” software of iTero, which also allows Invisalign to track your progress and adjust the aligners accordingly. After the Invisalign process is complete, your retainers can also be custom-made to wear for a period recommended by Dr. Louie to be sure the teeth do not begin to revert back to their original crooked positions.
Everyone needs to have a full dental exam at least twice a year, to be sure that oral health problems are caught before they develop into serious issues. This will also include a digital x-ray to check the health of the roots of your teeth and the underlying jawbone. Call us today and we can discuss the value of the iTero for whatever your needs are.