Richard and I thoroughly enjoyed this years Dental Technology Showcase at the NEC in May.
We went with the main aim of seeing the progress of the intraoral scanning technology and trying to gauge its uptake by clinicians. We're still waiting for this particular digital revolution to fully take off.
Speaking to dentists at the Showcase it seems that the general consensus is that those who are thinking about investing in an intraoral scanner are either waiting for the price to drop, or waiting for someone else to jump in first.
We spent quite a long time with the Carestream team, which is a system we quite like for it's open format. You needn't buy an additional license in order to send your STL files to your lab, regardless of what hardware they're using.
The demonstration of the scanner was great, and it wouldn't take long to get the hang of it, I managed to get a useable scan on my very first try. But once you are up and running with it I can see the huge benefits over traditional impression taking.
Over at the Techceram stand we watched the demonstration of the full digital workflow, from intraoral scan to 3D printed model, to final milled crown. It's a wonderful thing to see, the 3D printed models can be produced in such volume and at such speed now, I can't wait for intraoral scanning to become more widespread among our customers.
Having said that though, even since the DTS we've had more and more enquiries about receiving STL files, and more of our new customers interested in implants have turned out to have a scanner at their practice.