In the spring of 2023, we started to use an intra-oral scanner to help us document our patients’ teeth. This is a wireless device that allows us to take 3-D photos of the teeth and gums. Having your mouth scanned is now part of every complete oral exam. The scanner has many functions:
- it can be used to educate a patient on what exactly is going on in the mouth
- it can be used to monitor wear of the teeth (from attrition, abfractions, erosion or abrasion) and multiple scans can be superimposed to compare changes in time.
- it can be used to take images to be sent to a lab for fabrication of appliances like bruxing or clenching niteguards, or tooth restorations like crowns; this eliminates the need for impressions
- it can be used to assist the dentist in making good treatment planning decisions for a patient