October 2012, Volume 33, Issue 9
Published by AEGIS Communications
3M™ True Definition Scanner: The Future of Impressioning Technology
For many years, the dental industry has been steadily moving toward a digital workflow, and even the most basic procedures, like taking impressions, are becoming high-tech, according to Mark Farmer, President of 3M ESPE. While this change can be jarring for clinicians who have been practicing for decades, Farmer asserts that this evolution from analog to digital can offer vast improvements over traditional methods.
“Moving to a digital workflow leads to three primary areas of improvement: improving the quality of oral care, offering a better patient experience, and improving the productivity and economics of the dental practice,” says Farmer, who adds that 3M ESPE has always been on the forefront of new materials and technologies. Now, the company is introducing the 3M™ True Definition Scanner, a device that offers 3M customers the latest in digital impressioning.
The 3M True Definition Scanner delivers 3M’s powerful 3-dimensional (3-D) video-based scanning technology and provides scanning precision, accuracy, and repeatability for taking digital impressions. The technology is contained in a small, ergonomic, lightweight wand the size of a dental handpiece. The system also offers users the 3M™ Connection Center, which is built on a secure, cloud-based architecture that provides both trusted and integrated connections to third-party systems, along with the flexibility of open STL file access.
“The 3M True Definition Scanner is unique in that the technology is 3-D video-based, so it can capture more data and ultimately provide greater full arch accuracy than the leading point and stitch systems on the market,” Farmer explains. He adds that because the software architecture is open and cloud-based, the True Definition Scanner can easily be coupled with third-party systems and processes. These capabilities make the True Definition Scanner extremely flexible and lay the groundwork for new connections and applications in the future.
Beyond the True Definition Scanner’s technological capabilities, the hardware itself has been built to be highly robust. The wand has no moving parts and does not require calibration, and the monitor and computer have been built through a partnership with Hewlett-Packard. “At 3M, we are invested in delivering reliability and consistency,” says Farmer. “The True Definition Scanner has been designed to deliver the most predictable clinical outcomes for its users.”
In addition to the True Definition Scanner itself, 3M ESPE will offer the system at a price point that will put CAD/CAM dentistry in reach for more practices. Farmer points out that 3M ESPE is excited about the launch of this new technology, and the company is going to great lengths to ensure that its customers are properly trained and equipped to use it. “One of the strengths of acompany like 3M ESPE is that we have a wealth of support tools, ranging from research, to how-to guides, to personal, in-office support from our local digital specialists,” he explains. With the launch of the True Definition Scanner, 3M is providing personal, face-to-face training in the clinician’s office, which will be supplemented with a full set of training videos accessible directly from the device itself. Clinicians also have the option to follow-up for advanced training with 3M ESPE’s advanced clinical specialists.
Even though the 3M True Definition Scanner is at the forefront of digital impressioning technology, 3M ESPE sees more in the device’s future than just taking impressions. “We envision that digital impression-taking devices will be the first step of every dental procedure. Scanning the mouth is a simple and painless process, and once the digital oral anatomical data is captured, it might be used for a wide range of procedures, such as prevention, diagnostics, and patient education,” says Farmer. “In addition, the combined creativity of dentists, labs, manufacturers, software developers, and other innovators will lead to a library of exciting new applications for this technology, and 3M is already working on some of these new applications.”
3M ESPE Dental Products
3M Center, 275
St. Paul, MN 55144-1000