The Importance of the Intraoral Scanner
By Victoria Benvenuto, RDH, EdM, and Dianne L. Sefo, RDH, MEd
Developments in digital dentistry have resulted in an increased and improved application of three-dimensional (3D) technologies in patient assessment and treatment. François Duret, DDS, DSO, PhD, MS, MD-PhD, first conceptualized the idea of a dental computer-aided design (CAD) system in the 1970s. Since then, 3D intraoral digital imaging and manufacturing systems have continuously evolved. For the past three decades, CAD/computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), or intraoral scanning devices, have been used in dentistry. Intraoral cameras and 3D scanners can enhance the oral health care experience. Scanners have a variety of uses, including designing precision full-ceramic crowns, veneers, inlays, and occlusal guards, as well as assisting with implants. By 1985, the first 3D intraoral imaging system became commercially available and was typically used by laboratories to fabricate precise restorations.