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November/December 2021
Volume 42, Issue 10

iTero Element® Scanners: Easier for Clinicians, Better for Patients

When Cara A. Lund, DMD, graduated from Harvard School of Dental Medicine, she already knew what her next step would be: joining her father's general dentistry practice, now located in Stoneham, MA.

"I enjoy treating people of all ages and the variety of general dentistry," she says. "I was lucky that my father (Dr. William Lund) has always believed in having a state-of-the-art dental office. When I joined the practice in 2003, it was paperless with computers in all the operatories and digital radiographs. Soon after, we purchased intraoral cameras, which were a game-changer for patient education, as was patient-education software."

"The most impactful change, however, was getting our first intraoral scanner in 2010. Restorations fit beautifully and better than with polyvinyl siloxane (PVS) impression material. We now have three iTero Element® scanners (Align Technology, Inc.) and a Glidewell In-Office Mill."

Lund explains that the iTero scanners are central components in just about every procedure her practice provides.

"We use our iTero scanners for all aspects of dentistry, including all Invisalign® cases. We routinely use the Invisalign Outcome Simulator to show patients how we can transform their smiles and the Occlusogram to show stresses on teeth," she says. "Every new patient receives an oral health scan at their first appointment, which is the foundation of our new patient consultation."

Lund says she scans for all crowns, veneers, bridges, implant crowns, retainers, nightguards, and study models. "All of my favorite labs are programmed on the scanners, so I can send my cases to them seamlessly," she adds. "I can also download STL files from to send to my lab via email or upload. The quality of the restorations is phenomenal, and the results are predictable. I also like that I can scan a patient, send the file to the lab, and call the lab while the patient is still in the chair to discuss the treatment."

Not only do iTero Element scanners make it easier on the clinician, but Lund has found that the difference it makes with patients is also significant.

"The oral health scans make it easier to discuss issues with patients, because they can see and interact with their mouths on the scanner just like we do. Patients are now part of the discussion." This, she says, helps improve case presentation, particularly for larger cases. She adds that patients find the process of being scanned easy and much prefer it to goopy PVS.

The benefits to the clinician and the patients seem clear; however, what does the dental office team think?

"Our hygienists say that doing an oral health scan with the iTero is much easier than taking an FMX (full-mouth x-ray) and that the scan provides so many more patient-education talking points," Lund says. "No one ever wants to go back to analog methods!"

With such overall enthusiasm for the speed, reliability, and visualization capabilities of the technology, it is no wonder that her practice has three iTero Element scanners.

"Our three iTero Element scanners are in constant motion in our practice all day long," she says. "We decided from the moment our first iTero arrived in 2018 that we were a scanning office, and our patients and practice have only benefitted from that commitment. Every clinical team member knows how to scan, and every front desk team member understands the value scanning brings to the patient experience."

Align Technology, Inc.

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