The iTero scanner is one of many intra-oral scanners used in orthodontic offices. While iTero was not the first brand to introduce intraoral scanners to the world of dentistry, it is one of the most advanced, easy-to-use, and accurate scanners on the market. The first iTero model was launched in 2007 by Align Technology. Since then, new models have been launched, with the most recent being the Element 5D scanner released in 2019. Depending on the model of the scanner, they can be priced anywhere between $20,000-$30,000 per machine. Although they may seem expensive, iTero scanners are worth it in the end as they provide the most accurate information in a matter of minutes. Additionally, it is safer than any other machine as it does not expose patients to radiation like other scanners.
Like other intraoral scanners, the iTero scanner scans a patient’s mouth and takes accurate three-dimensional images that determine how rigorous the course of treatment may be. The process itself is rapid and pain-free. The scanner’s wand is small enough to access all parts of a patient’s mouth by taking up to 6,000 images per second. After the scan is complete, a model of the oral cavity is presented on the screen in which orthodontists can see where the root of the problem is and how to treat it. The cool thing about the iTero scanner is that once a treatment course is selected and advised, another scan will demonstrate what the patient’s teeth may most likely look like after completing the treatment. This allows patients to feel more confident with their decision as they see the results in advance.
iTero scanners are not only the fastest and most accurate machines used in orthodontic offices, but they are also the most patient and doctor-friendly. Since the iTero scanner’s wand is small and noninvasive, it allows the patients to experience more comfort and reduces the chance of any gag reflex, which may mess up the scans. It is also a cleaner process as the patients are less likely to slobber, and the protective plastic covering is reduced to one instead of changing between impressions. Breathing and swallowing also stay normal, and there is no foul smell or taste after use. As for the doctors themselves, the iTero reduces the number of scans being taken, reducing the duration of the process per patient, allowing more time for new consults, thus possibly increasing profitability for the clinic.
Many may not know that Align Technology, the creators of the iTero scanner, are also the founders of Invisalign. Invisalign are clear personalized devices used to fix patients’ teeth to their satisfaction. The scanners were developed to determine which treatment of Invisalign was better for a patient. If a patient is qualified to benefit more from Invisalign rather than regular braces, the scanners' high resolution and precision allow in-the-moment images of what the teeth look like before and after treatment. They also track patients' progress and setbacks, allowing doctors to change and fix the course of treatment to benefit a patient. Since the scanner is so quick, treatment can commence just as soon and in less time with a fewer chance of rejection.