What Is the iTero Scanner for Invisalign?

iTero is a dental scanner that allows your dentist to take digital images and plan your Invisalign treatment in real-time. Our CCOA dentists are here to tell you all about its applications for your smile.

What is iTero used for?

Intraoral scanning is a 3D approach to capturing dental images. This technology allows our dentists to achieve accurate and detailed dental models that enhance the efficacy of restorative dental work. 2D imaging is not sufficient for modern patient-tailored dental treatments like Invisalign aligners.

This intraoral scanner features a wand, which the dental professional moves around a patient’s mouth. The wand captures thousands of frames per second which are pieced together to create a 3D image of the patient’s mouth. The wands on iTero intraoral scanners are smaller than early intraoral scanners, allowing them to scan molars in the back of the mouth which were traditionally difficult to reach.

How Do iTero Intraoral Scanners Work?

iTero scanners feature a laser wand, that is run through your mouth to create an equivalent digital 3D impression. The wands of today are significantly smaller than the wands of previous intraoral scanners. The bigger wands of the past were impossible to maneuver for a complete scan. Consequently, older intraoral scanners were criticized for their inability to create accurate impressions of a patient’s molars. On the contrary, the iTero wand is small enough to reach the farthest molars: a massive win for intraoral scanners.

A smaller wand size also means you don’t have to open your mouth uncomfortably wide. The reduced size also gives the orthodontist more flexibility as they take your scan. During the scanning process, flexibility always means greater detail. iTero digital impressions are, therefore, both quick and accurate.

iTero scanners also allow for real-time simulations. This means that you get to watch the generation of your dental impression as the wand moves through your mouth. The simulation gives you a bigger role and increased control in the process. All resultant scans can be forwarded to your aligner manufacturer of choice if you wish.

Outcome Simulation

The Invisalign Outcome Simulator is exclusively iTero powered. It not only allows patients to see their scans come to life in real-time, but it also simulates the final results on-screen. That way, you get to suggest changes before it’s too late. These projected corrections also give you something to look forward to. The visualization has also been instrumental in helping patients plan for future treatments. It’s not unheard for a patient to plan for further orthodontic intervention after they realize that scheduled treatments won’t give them their desired smiles on their own.

Invisalign Progress Assessment

The Invisalign Progress Assessment is an Invisalign tool that allows us to monitor the progress of your treatment. The tool compares your scans to your ClinCheck treatment plans. If there is a substantial difference between the projected results and the results exhibited, Invisalign will respond appropriately. The Invisalign Doctor Site (IDS) receives reports of your progress, allowing the company to iterate your aligners for the best results.

What else can it iTero be used for?

If aligners are more practical for you than traditional braces, we’re here to help. Our intraoral scanning process only takes a few minutes. Below are four situations outside of teeth alignment that may necessitate an intraoral scan:

  • Creation of dentures
  • Creation of dental crowns
  • Preparation for oral surgery
  • Dental records

To learn more about Invisalign and the capabilities of the iTero scanner, get in touch with a CCOA member practice near you!

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