Intraoral Scanners - Bringing Dentistry to Digital Era

Most dental practices in the US continue to use elastomeric impressions made of the jaw in order to place their orders with labs for proshetics, prostodontics and tooth aligners.However, in the last 6 to 8 years, a powerful new technology has emerged through intraoral scanning. that completely eliminates the need for elastomeric impressions. It produces a digital file that can be easily sent to a lab immediately and at no cost.

Still using elastomeric impressions?

Why Buy A Scanner?

Cost Comparison: Digital Dental vs Conventional Elastomeric Impressions Can you save money deploying an intraoral scanner? We think so. Check out our detailed breakdown. Crunch the numbers. Did we get something wrong? Let us know. Find it useful? Discuss with your colleagues. Use the Customize and Provide Feedback buttons below.
Cost per impression side by side
Conventional Impression Using elastomeric impression, using a mold to cast a 3 dimensional model of the jaw
Digital Impression Using a digital scanner to create a digital file that can be manipulated by CAD software
Difference Savings (or extra cost) from digital impressions. (Conventional - Digitsl)
 
Fractional labor cost Breaks down labor costs by chair time.
 
Material costs These are all costs of supplies involved in elastomeric impressions, broken down to a per impression basis. These include such things as dispensers, mixing tips, tray and tray selection,light body, heavy body and adhesives.
$20.00 Cost per impression of materials used for elastomeric impression (see breakdown below)
$0.00 Digital files incur no material costs (see breakdown below)
 
Shipping and handling costs These are average cost of getting impression to and from lab.
$3.94 Elastomeric impression average round trip shipping costs. (see breakdown below)
 
Scanner costs Any hardware scanner costs associated with this technology, on a per-impression basis
$0.00 Assumption here is no cost as dentist does not need to purchase a scanner. (see breakdown below)
$13.17 Amortized cost of scanner over 5 years based on 39 average impressions per day (see breakdown below)
($13.17) Extra capital cost of purchasing scanner
 
Total costs per impression Totality of costs broken down by impression.
$38.37 Sum of all costs per impression using elastomeric process (see breakdown below)
$19.99 Sum of all costs per impression using digital process (see breakdown below)
$18.37 Savings per impression $38.37 - $19.99
 
Monthly costs Total by month
$1496.24 $38.37 per impression x 39 impressions per month
$779.78 Monthly sum of digital costs
$716.46 Monthly savings using digital scanner
 
Additional monthly savings Savings incurred due to possible discounts by lab on a monthly basis.
$0.00 Monthly sum of conventional costs
$468.00 Possible monthly savings on lab costs (see breakdown below)
$468.00 Monthly savings on lab costs of digital process (see breakdown below)
 
Total monthly costs All costs incurred from technology in accruing impressions totalled by month.
$1496.24 Monthly sum of conventional costs
$311.78 Monthly costs are reduced by assumed lab savings discount of 10% x 39 impressions x $120/impression
$1184.46 Total Monthly Savings After Reduced Lab Fees : $1496.24 - $311.78
 
Annual costs Total by year
$17,954.82 $38.37 per impression x 39 impressions /day x 30 days x x 12 months
$9,357.30 Annual sum of digital costs
$8,597.52 Savings per year exclusinve of possible lab discounts
 
Additional annual savings Savings incurred due to possible discounts by lab on an annual basis.
$0.00 No discount obtained from labs
($5616.00) Monthly savings from lab x 12 . Assumes a 10% lab discount over elastomeric submissions
$5616.00 Potential annual lab savings based on 10% discount
 
Total annual costs All costs incurred from technology in accruing impressions totalled by year.
$17,954.82 Annual sum of conventional costs
$3,741.30 Annual sum of digital costs reduced by assumed discount of 10% on lab costs
$14,213.52 Difference of $17,954.82 - $3,741.30 = possible annual savings factoring in lab discounts
 
Cost Breakdown and Additional Customization
Average Dental Practice Statistics Used in Calculation
Number of impressions per month The dentists we have polled revealed average usage of 39 crowns per month. You may want to user our customization button below to modify this to your practice realities for an accurate estimate.
39 The dentists we have polled revealed average usage of 39 crowns per month. You may want to user our customization button below to modify this to your practice realities for an accurate estimate.
 
Average hourly salary of dental assistant Hourly cost of assistant staff performing scanning or making impressions. Default value is $48000, broken down into an hourly wage.
$28.85  
Average hourly salary of other staff Hourly cost of administrative staff handling clerical duties. Based on average wage of $32000 / year.
$15.38 Hourly cost of administrative staff handling clerical duties. Based on average wage of $32000 / year.
 
Conventional Costs Using Impressions
Chair time in minutes? Traditional elastomeric impressions take most dental practices about 30 minutes of chair time.
30 Traditional elastomeric impressions take most dental practices about 30 minutes of chair time.
 
Shipping costs per impression We've used commercial rates on priority mail parcel service at $7.95 , and assumed 2 impressions per package. Enter your rate here. Remember to divide by the number of impressions in each box. Also add in any return shipping fees charged by lab on a per impression basis
$1.99  
Average material costs per impression Material costs per elastomeric impression. These include dispensers, mixing tips, tray and tray selection, light body, heavy body and adhesives. These are totalled, then divided by number of impressions done per month, to get cost per impression. Our default value is $780 /mo based on 39 crowns, or $20 an impression.
$20.00  
Average elastomeric impression office handling costs Besides chair time costs, elastomeric impressions must be prepared, labeled, shipped and received. We used a $15.38 /hour wage for non-professional staff with a 20 minute total time for administrative tasks involved in elastomeric impressions process.
$3.94
 
Intraoral Scanning Costs    
Chair time in minutes? Most practitioners using a modern scanner will complete the scanning within 2-3 minutes, plus an additional 2-3 minutes for patient prep time.
6
 
Expected monthly scanner costs We used $28,800 amortized over 5 years at a 7 percent interest rate. This is the average price of the top scanners we recently reviewed.
$513.60
 
Average supply costs per impression Tip replacements, sterilization solutions, cheek retractors, etc. taken on a per impression basis.
$30.00
 
Possible Additional Savings
Average monthly lab bill Average dental lab bills range from $3500 to $5000. We used 39 impressions at $120/each.
$4680.00
 
Lab bill discount for digital file transfers Many labs will give you a discount for using an electronic file, as it saves them a lot of time, and reduces errors. We've seen labs discounting this from 5% to 20%.
10%
 
Savings per month Dollar value of any savings from possible lab discounts. $4680 x 10% used as defaults.
$468.00
 
Savings per year Annual savings in dollar terms based on discount rate and number of impressions. 10% x 39 impressions x 12 months
$5616.00
 
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Top IntraOral Scanners of 2021

(Table is interactive. Click on rows to expand or contract.)

Brands Denterprise Quick scan IOS Sirona Cerec Omnicam 3 Shape Trios 4 Carestream CS3700 Align Itero Medit I500
 
denterprise quickscan IOS
cerec omnicam
3shape trios
carestream cs3700
itero scanner
medit 1500
Overall Rating 4.6 ★ 4.1 ★ 3.9 ★ 4.0 ★ 3.2 ★ 4.4 ★
Cost $ = Least expensive $$$$$ = most expensive . Best efforts were made to obtain the most accurate pricing. Prices based on MSRP and dealer submissions
$ $$$ $$$$$ $$$ $$$$ $$
Cost of UnitBest efforts were made to obtain the most accurate pricing. Hover over any pricing to see our source. If any prices seem inaccurate, we invite your comments.
$15,995 Source: Denterpriseintl website
$29,000 Source: pricing based on polling of 3 dentists who purchased in last year. If you find it inaccurate, please let us know.
$39,000 Source: pricing info average cost calculated by : Henry Schein
$32,000 see review for price at Institute of Digital Dentistry
$32,000 The Element 5D is advertised for $70,000 NZD for the cart option and $68,000 NZD for the scanner only option. This makes it one of the most expensive scanners on the market.
$22,0000 Inlucdes cost of supporting computer unit purchased sedapartely but required See Institute of Digital Dentistry
Data Plan Cost / Year First year free then $520 / mo 
free The Denterprise team offers 12 hour support during US business hours. We found them prompt and competent.
$4,000
$2500 $2500 to $3500 dealer dependent "The scanner itself not only has an annual subscription (around £1000-£2500 depending on the scanner you buy) but so do the different design modules. The baseline design software of the TRIOS is purchased for close to £4000 and has an annual subscription of under £350.
free The Carestream Dental team also offers 24 hour phone support and we found them very pleasant to deal with.
$240Scanner itself has no monthly fee but the software does. The first 10GB of space on the cloud are free but you'll quickly need more: $20 Euro/mo for 1 TB or 40 Euro/mo for 5 TB
freeNone: The Planmeca system has no yearly fees or subscriptions tied to the scanner or software. It also comes with most modules with no added fees.
Tip Cost of Unit  $20
not applicableThe Omnicam does not provide autoclavable tips.
not updated $50
$2.00As listed on Ebay%50 for box of 25
$50
Tip Cycles  30 n.a.
150The second feature of these smart tips is the automatic autoclave counter. The smart tip will track how many times it has been autoclaved and will alert you when it's time to change the head for optimum scanning. As you may know, all scanner heads have a set lifespan based on the number of sterilization cycles before the head starts to warp and needs to be replaced. For the TRIOS 4 it is stated that they will last for up to 150 cycles - that is a huge number compared to other scanners. The autoclave counter gives you an easy way of tracking this. These smart tips are also said to optimize performance and increase the battery life by 30%.
30
20 20 uses with 45 minutes between usage source: Medit :
File Transfer Fee (Cork Fee)   free n.a. free free free free
Total Costs Excluding Lab Costs
$551 / mo Based on 39 impressions per month,and purchase price amortized over 5 years
$2697 / month Based on 39 impressions per month,and purchase price amortized over 5 years
$9,110 / month Based on 39 impressions per month,and purchase price amortized over 5 years
$2,680/ month Based on 39 impressions per month,and purchase price amortized over 5 years
$2,880 / month Based on 39 impressions per month,and purchase price amortized over 5 years
$2,383 / month Based on 39 impressions per month,and purchase price amortized over 5 years
Total Cost of Operation Including Lab Impressions  
$4.763 / mo Includes lab fees and savings. Based on 39 impressions per month,and purchase price amortized over 5 years
$6,909 / month Includes lab fees and savings which add $4212/month. Based on 39 impressions per month , amortized over 5 years. A higher monthly estimate of $9400.08 was calculated by Dental Economics
$13,322/ month Includes lab fees and savings. Based on 39 impressions per month , amortized over 5 years. Used TRIOS own tool found on their Trios website
$6,618 / month Includes lab fees and savings. Based on 39 impressions per month,and purchase price amortized over 5 years, See review and cost calculation at Institute of Dental Registry
$7,092 / month Includes lab fees and savings. Based on 39 impressions per month,and purchase price amortized over 5 years. See review and cost calculation at Institute of Dental Registry
$6,595 / month Includes lab fees and savings. Based on 39 impressions per month,and purchase price amortized over 5 years. See review and cost calculation at Institute of Dental Registry
Ease of Use ★★★★ ★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★★★
Scanner Type 3D Video 3D Video 3D Video 3D Video 3D Video 3D Video
Configuration  modular extra dock and cable central hub with docking stations modular extra dock and cable modular extra dock and cable modular extra dock and cable modular extra dock and cable
Patient Live Screening  sold separately yes yes sold separately sold separately sold separately
Defogging   external heating elements internal heating fan internal heating fan internal heating fan external heating elements internal heating fan
Powder Free Scanning  yes yes yes yes yes yes
Tooth Surface Spray  no no no no no no
Infection Control  autoclavable tips
disposable handpiece sleevescool sterilization only , so 20 minutes down time between patients.Sleeves avoid this, but greatly slow down scan time
autoclavable tips autoclavable tips autoclavable tips autoclavable tips
Work Flow Downtime   wired wand connection = no downtime intermittent delays to recharge battery wired wand connection = no downtime wired wand connection = no downtime wired wand connection = no downtime wired wand connection = no downtime
Accuracy ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★
Precision  < 19 um < 5 um < 5 um < ?? um < ?? um < ?? um
Realistic, Natural Colors  yes yes yes yes yes yes
Screen Resolution  1280 x 720 px to be determined to be determined to be determined to be determined to be determined
Scanning technology  Triangulation Triangulation Confocal laser technology Triangulation Triangulation Triangulation
Model Optimization  Good morphology possible, but seldom required Good morphology possible, but requires adjustments        
                    
Flow ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★
Full arch scan time 5 min 8-10 min 5 min 5 min
8-10 minNot by any means the fastest scanner on the market, but when compared to others, it is not the slowest either. Institute of Digital Dentistry
5 min
 
Dimensions ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★
Tip Size 18.5 x 15 mm 16.5 x 16.5 mm 23 x 20 mm 20 x 17 mm   19 x 15.2 mm
Tip Type Mirror Prism Mirror Mirror Mirror Mirror
Tip Design removable sealed removable removable removable removable
Weight 225 g 325 g 340 g 326 g 470 g 276 g
Hand Control on / off button none none on / off button on / off button on / off button
 
Service & Reputation ★★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★ ★★★
Reputation Excellent In dental business since 1989 Excellent In dental business since 2000 Excellent In dental business since 2000 Excellent In dental business since 2007 Excellent In dental business since 1997 Excellent In dental business since 2000
Corporate Form private public public public public private
Warranty 1 year service and labor. 3 years of parts replacement with no annual fees 3 years free This is the only subscription for the CEREC system and ranges from $3500 to $4500 per year 5 years parts and labor 5 year parts and labor 1 year service and labor. 1 year service and labor.
Product Training 1 day in office. Growing library of online videos. Dealer dependent but excellent online videos Dealer dependent but excellent online videos Dealer dependent. Good 24 hour phone support 1 day in office. Good online videos. Unlimited free online training, but not on US time zones
Where To Buy Denterprise Henry Schein | Patterson Dental Henry Schein | Patterson Dental Benco | Patterson Dental Zimmer Biomet | Core3 Dental Straumann Group