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March 2021
Volume 42, Issue 3

Imaging System's Visualization Capabilities Help Clinicians Educate Their Patients

As part of a small group practice focusing on esthetic and restorative dentistry, Chad C. Duplantis, DDS, believes that utilizing the latest technological advancements helps them provide an elevated level of care to their patients.

"We have been scanning since 2004, and almost exclusively since 2012," Duplantis says. "Our previous scanner was accurate, but it was monochromatic and required powder. We wanted something more advanced with multifunctional technology that could be incorporated with an in-office mill."

Duplantis says his Fort Worth, Texas, practice began using the iTero Element scanner from Align Technology in 2017, noting that it satisfies all of the practice's needs, and "we haven't looked back once."

While the practice benefits from the scanner's numerous capabilities, Duplantis feels that the enhanced image quality and color scans offer a profound impact. "In the world of scanning, some say color has no bearing on accuracy. I can tell you that the lifelike color has an immense impact on visualization-both for me as a clinician and for patients making decisions about treatment."The latest iTero Element® 5D Plus imaging system Duplantis employs adds "next-level" visualizations with a higher-resolution screen than any he's seen in the past. "This provides an exceptionally crisp, clear, eye-popping image to my patients. It's also a great choice for clinicians new to scanning."

A number of visualization tools within the scanner also help Duplantis showcase treatment options to patients. "TimeLapse Technology enables us to share both additive and subtractive changes in a patient's dentition over time," he says. "This has a powerful effect, especially when discussing wear and recession with the patient." Similarly, he adds, the Invisalign® Outcome Simulator allows the practice to showcase the potential of clear aligner therapy, which helps immensely when closing Invisalign cases.

The newest advancements to the system, near infrared imaging (NIRI) and intraoral imaging, are captured simultaneously with the scan. NIRI allows transillumination, eliminating technical challenges associated with traditional transillumination devices, according to Duplantis. "This adds tremendous value to the patients' examinations and creates opportunities for patient education."

"Patients are visual learners," he says. "Using the iTero scanner capabilities to help us communicate and visualize leads to greater case acceptance."

Duplantis also praises the restorative capabilities of iTero Element 5D Plus, stating that the restorations "fit remarkably" and that the speed of capture and transfer enable him to communicate with the lab or mill in "lightspeed fashion" with minimal remakes. He adds that implant planning with a scan and implant restorative impressions are also highly efficient with the scanner.

The latest generation of iTero Element scanners, he comments, is not only the fastest of any scanner he has ever used, but the improved ergonomics allow for better visualization of and manipulation around the patient. In addition, the scanner itself has a sleek, modern design, which makes a good impression on patients.

Moreover, Duplantis says, patients are amazed by the ease of intraoral scanning. "I can't tell you how many times I hear ‘Wow.' The patients are blown away with the technology and its capabilities."

Duplantis encourages practices to not resist the adoption of scanning technology, insisting that, used appropriately, the return on investment (ROI) is there. Align makes an array of education and support offerings available, including free live training on, which provides information on integration, utilization, and even scanning technique.

"Scanning with the iTero Element 5D Plus imaging system is efficient, increases our productivity, and improves the patient experience," Duplantis concludes.

Align Technology, Inc.

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