Marty @ IDS 2013: Intraoral scanners abound

2013 03 11 16 08 56 541 2013 03 12 Ids 70

COLOGNE, Germany - Day Two of the International Dental Show (IDS) 2013 was filled with a lot of meetings and seeing new products. Besides more implant companies than you can ever imagine, the big thing here this year is intraoral scanners.

The scanners are getting smaller and faster. Speaking with impression material companies, they are fully aware that they need to figure out how to assist in the digital process or become part of that process, because the way things are going, there won't be an impression material business in 10 years -- similar to how x-ray film and film processor sales are decreasing. Impression material is not going away in the immediate future, but the writing is on the wall as the evolution to digital impressioning gains momentum.

Carestream is releasing both an intraoral scanner (the CS 3500) and a milling machine (the CS 3000). The CS 3500 -- which is not yet commercially available, pending regulatory approvals -- has a small handpiece and is able to scan impressions if you own a Carestream cone-beam CT system. The scanner produces color images and will have the usual software checks in place to ensure that there is adequate clearance and no undercuts before sending the open architecture stereolithography (STL) file for milling.

The CS 3500 intraoral scanner from Carestream.The CS 3500 intraoral scanner from Carestream.
The CS 3500 intraoral scanner from Carestream.
The CS 3000 milling machine.The CS 3000 milling machine.
The CS 3000 milling machine.

In other intraoral scanner news, 3Shape is releasing a color scanner to complement its fast black and white scanner (as an aside, I really like the 3Shape scanners). And A.tron is introducing its a.tron3d scanner, which the company claims is the world's smallest and lightest weight intraoral scanner.

Meanwhile, Sirona has introduced a new lower priced scanner for the U.S. market. The company also has a new Galileos that can scan the soft tissue of the face, similar to the Planmeca cone-beam CT unit. This is useful because it allows you to see the effects of changing occlusion or orthognathic surgery on facial soft tissue.

KaVo is showcasing its new DIFOTI caries detection unit, the Diagnocam, which brings transillumination to a new level without the use of radiation. And Acteon is showing its new and improved Soprocare, an intraoral camera that also does caries detection.

I saw two new phosphor plate scanners: Air Techniques has released a new phosphor plate scanX scanner that processes single plates quickly, and Soredex has an updated version of its Optime phosphor plate scanner.

Orange Dental is a big equipment company based in Germany that will be entering the U.S. later this year with a digital x-ray sensor that is compatible with Windows and Macs. Orange also has an intraoral disinfection device that can be used in periodontal pockets and during endodontic procedures.

But the most interesting product from Orange is a digital periodontal probe that makes charting your patients' periodontal condition simple. With one probe, all the information -- such as pocket depth, recession, and bleeding points -- is directly saved by the cordless device. When the probe is placed back into the USB-connected docking station, all the patient's periodontal information is directly downloaded into the software. This will make periodontal record keeping much easier.

Orange Dental is showing its digital periodontal probe at the IDS.Orange Dental is showing its digital periodontal probe at the IDS.
Orange Dental is showing its digital periodontal probe at the IDS.

Finally, Kerr is demonstrating a new composite placement instrument that vibrates to help assist in the placing stiffer composite materials. The Compothixo -- which is not yet available in the U.S. -- is powered by a AAA battery and energizes the composite to improve the viscosity, according to the company. Various tips are available for use in carving and sculpting composites.

Kerr is demonstrating the new Compothixo composite placement instrument at the show.Kerr is demonstrating the new Compothixo composite placement instrument at the show.
Kerr is demonstrating the new Compothixo composite placement instrument at the show.

Marty Jablow, DMD, lectures and consults extensively about integrating technologies into the modern dental practice (

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, product, or organization.

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