By Dr. David Galler
When speaking about all the benefits that come with digital impressions, a lot gets said about the speed of the process, the enhanced comfort for the patient and the overall accuracy of the impression. As an owner of an original iTero® scanner, and now one of the new iTero® Element™ Intraoral Scanners, I can confirm those are indeed tangible benefits. Yet I’ve found one of the most important benefits often gets left out of the discussion, and that’s the peace of mind that can be generated using the Invisalign® Outcome Simulator.
Consider the new patient, not sure if Invisalign treatment is right for them. After I capture a digital impression, I send it to the Invisalign Outcome Simulator on the iTero scanner, which will clean the image up, include some of the gingiva, make the teeth whiter, and then it will give you a before and after image, simulating how the patient’s new smile will look. Patients really like the visual aspect of seeing this, especially since treatment is going to take about a year or more to complete. With their new smile right there on screen, they’ll see the spaces that will be closed, the crowding that will be eliminated and their teeth will be straight.
With the image on the screen, I can show them how much easier it will be to clean their teeth, the wear effect improper occlusion causes on their teeth and how it can break teeth down over time. I can show them how the relationship between the upper and lower arch can be improved, and how their occlusion will be healthier. For patients, seeing is believing. Once they can see the results, they can stop worrying about making the right decision.
This peace of mind also extends to the clinician. Consider the doctor who might be doing some of their first Invisalign cases. The Invisalign Outcome Simulator can assist him or her by visualizing the simulation that yes, this is going to be a good case to do. Or no, this might be a tricky case that should be referred out. Now within a few seconds, the clinician can see what the patient would like at the completion of treatment.
When my colleagues ask about my iTero Element Intraoral Scanner I always mention the speed, the comfort and the accuracy. But always make it a point to mention peace of mind. It’s not just one less thing to worry about…it’s many less things to worry about.
©2015 Align Technology, Inc.