Digital Impressions From A Lab Perspective

Posted on
June 22, 2019

John Treasure CDT

Treasure Dental Lab CDL

3735 Washington Parkway

Idaho Falls, ID 83404


Technology can be a double-edged sword.  Its great to be on the leading edge ofDentistry and provide your patients with the latest and greatest care possible but you want to make sure you are not on the bleeding edge of dentistry, where you are the guinea pig for products and services and it comes at you and your patient’s expense.   How many times have we invested in a product only to find out it is horrible and doesn’t work the way it should or doesn’t hold up and breaks.

When it comes to new dental equipment, I have always found it best to wait for the 2 or 3 generation before investing.  This brings us to digital impression systems.They have been around for more than 30 years with the Cerec system and now they are becoming more and more main stream with a plethora of companies offering digital scanners.  The real question you want answered is if it's time to invest in one? Let’s take an in depth look and try to help you decide.  

 We have been working with digital impressions for over 10 years and have seen a very slow growth curve. At the start of 2018 only 6% of our clients were sending us digital impressions.  That has doubled to 12% at the start of 2019.  I have taken more phone calls asking about digital impressions in the last year than the previous10 years combined.  What has driven this demand?  I think there have been a few things that are behind the demand. First, digital scanners have become smaller in size and easier to learn and manage and more reliable to use. Second, you can buy a scanner without the milling unit bringing the cost down to make it more manageable. Third, all the major dental suppliers sell and service them and allow you to try before you buy approach.  Fourth, word of mouth from peers and industry leaders is helping you to feel more comfortable to make the leap of faith to invest in a digital impression system. Fifth, the economy has been doing well and you now have some extra income to put towards new equipment and gain some tax advantages. Sixth, you are wanting your office to become all digital to stream line your practice and make it easier to manage and provide your patients with the best experience possible.

 The best reason to invest in a digital scanner is for patient comfort.  This is what I hear from our clients that have them and it helps set you apart from other dentists.   The second reason is for the accuracy of the digital impression leading to better fitting restoration with less chair due to the contacts and occlusion being more accurate than convention impressions.

 Last of all, my clients ask me which system to buy and I tell them they are all good but the single most important factor to consider is the service after the sell.  You need to make sure the company will be there to take care of you when there are problems and make sure they have a replacement unit available if something goes down with the scanner.  Digital impression systems are a great tool to have in your tool belt and will continue to be the future of dentistry.


Posted on
June 21, 2019