We have added a new patient communication system to better serve you. Keep an eye out for text messages from the office providing appointment reminders and appointment confirmations. Appointment reminders and confirmations via text message will replace reminder phone calls made by office staff.

Digital Impressions: How the iTero Element 5D Scanner Enhances Modern Dentistry

The iTero Element 5D Scanner, one of the latest advancements in dental technology, is available right here in our West Bloomfield dental office.

And we are loving it!

Let us tell you all about it.

How Our Dental Team Uses the iTero Element 5D Scanner

The iTero Element 5D is a wand-shaped digital scanner that features an intraoral camera. The wand can be moved around the inside of a patient’s mouth to essentially create 5-dimensional impressions of your teeth.

As noted on the iTero website, it is the first hybrid dental imaging system that simultaneously records 3D, intraoral color, and NIRI (near infrared) images, hence the reference to 5D.  It also enables comparison over time using iTero TimeLapse technology.

Dr. Fienman and our dental assistants use this diagnostic tool for a number of purposes, including finding cavities, to enhance Invisalign procedures, and to replace traditional dental impressions.

1. Finding Cavities Between Teeth

Cavities between teeth are often invisible to the naked eye, and dentists rely on bite wing X-rays to find them.

The iTero, on the other hand, features a near infrared camera that allows us to identify cavities between teeth without an X-ray. We will still use traditional dental X-rays, but the iTero allows us to use them less frequently.

As a result, patients can have a more comfortable experience, and exposure to radiation from X-ray technology is minimized.

2. Enhancing the Invisalign Procedure

We can use the digital tool to simulate Invisalign treatment, allowing a patient to see what his or her smile would look like after treatment is completed.

3. Replacing Traditional Dental Impressions

Reducing how often we take traditional dental impressions is one of the most notable benefits of this new dental technology.

For traditional dental impressions, dentists place impression material into a tray, and the patient must bite down into it for about 5 minutes.

“Traditional impressions can be challenging for patients,” Dr. Fienman said. “They’re time-consuming. They are goopy, and they may be uncomfortable to hold for a period of time. The taste might not be pleasant.”

With the digital scanner, the dentist can obtain a “digital impression” without using the traditional method, although that may still be used in some cases.

Dr. Fienman notes that the scanner may even provide better results.

“The scanner is more accurate than traditional impressions because there can be more distortions in the impressions,” he said.

Additional Benefits of Digital Impressions

The above are only a few of the benefits of this digital dental impression technology. We can also use it to create bite guards for athletes or TMJ patients, as well as to track changes in a patient’s teeth over time.

“Digital impressions provide us with the ability to compare scans from different time periods,” Dr. Fienman said. “We can overlay a present-day scan with one from the past to see how things have changed over time.”

See how the iTero Element 5D Digital Scanner works in our video below.

To see Dr. Fienman in West Bloomfield for Invisalign treatment or other dental procedures, schedule an appointment online or call us at (248) 266-4988.

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