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March 2023
Volume 44, Issue 3

iTero Element™ Scanner the Centerpiece of a Busy Orthodontic Practice

Drew A. Ferris, DDS, MS, who runs a thriving orthodontic practice in Santa Barbara, California, has long been a proponent of the iTero Element intraoral digital scanner (Align Technology, Inc.), and as the technology evolves and improves, so does his affection for the versatile equipment.

"I had the first version of the iTero scanner," he says. "I think we purchased it in 2011 or 2012, and one reason why we made that purchase was we were spending a considerable amount of dollars each month on impression material for Invisalign® patients. We knew that by buying this new scanner we'd actually spend less per month. At the time, we really just used it as a digital impression maker. We'd take the scan and then submit it to the Invisalign Doctor Site. It moved us out of the analog step to the digital."

However, it did not take long for Ferris and his team to see the many advantages to using the iTero scanner. "It was more accurate than the impressions. We weren't having things sent back due to inaccuracies, and it took that user error step [of physical impressions] right out of the equation," he says. "Now things have evolved so it's not just an impression maker for us."

"The iTero scanner is really the centerpiece of technology within our office. There are so many reasons why: We find it fast and accurate, and it integrates perfectly with the whole Align Digital Platform. These applications are utilized every day within our practice," Ferris says.

Ferris, who specializes in the use of both clear aligners and fixed appliances in treatment of complex cases, finds the iTero intraoral scanner so essential to his workflow with each patient, he now has six of them in his practice. "Everyone in the office knows how to use the scanner," he says. "New patients get scanned when they come in. And when we're doing additional aligners, as well as refinements and touch-ups, patients get scanned again, so the scanners are always in use."

Available on the iTero Element Plus Series, the Invisalign® Outcome Simulator Pro allows Ferris to show patients their potential new smile using in-face visualization and/or the 3D dentition view, all chairside within minutes. "The simulation is a game changer, because when the patient sees the smile simulated within their own face, they get an emotional connection to seeing what they can look like-that's the most powerful thing. I had a patient recently who broke down in tears after seeing her simulation."

Ferris says the customer engagement, as well as scheduling efficiencies, can be added perks of the iTero scanner business-growing benefits. "If you're investing in technology, you have to leverage it," he says. "We use an iTero scan with every patient and actually show each of them how they can benefit from receiving top-tier quality of care."

Drew A. Ferris, DDS, MS
Private Practice,
Santa Barbara, California

Align Technology, Inc.

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