Comparison criteria for the evaluation of intraoral scanners
In order for the comparison to be made in the same way, the tests of the dental intraoral camera scanners have been carried out using different types of teeth, with full arch scans and also bite scans. The test was carried out in this way because, due to rules in the exhibition, it was not possible for them to carry out the tests directly in the mouth.
In order to offer a graphical score, 5 stars were used, so the more stars an intraoral scanner has in one of the criteria, the better. Here is what the comparison criteria were and why:
Scanning speed: One of the most important factors when choosing an intraoral scanner is the speed of the scan. Therefore, the first thing that doctors take into account for the development has been the speed of full arch scanning. Although the evaluation is relative, the five star rating gives an idea of which ones are faster or slower.
Scanning flow: not only the speed of the scan is relevant, but also how smooth the experience is. Whether the intraoral scanner handles well in the corner and anterior region, or recovers quickly after losing the scan. Also if it joins the images well or if it loses frequency. The assessment of the scan flow, indicates which experience has been irregular or in any case, the lack of response.
Intraoral scanner size: Not only the size of the intraoral scanner head was taken into account, but also the weight and overall size. Although, judging from the overall size, some scanners are heavier and more complicated than others. The focus has been on ergonomics, weight and overall, how comfortable the scanner feels in the hand and when scanning.
Ease of use: this criteria takes into account both the hadware and the way the software was managed or if there were any problems with scanning, processing and general workflow.
Intraoral scanner price: Another criteria that dentists consider quite important is the price, since this can vary, depending on the cost, complements, distributors or geographical location. No exact numbers are provided, but a relative comparison based on the most expensive and least expensive scanners.
Subscription requirements and maintenance packages: The subscription requirement for the use of the intraoral scanner may be mandatory, recommended or not required. The assessment has been made on this basis, as some companies claim that they do not require any kind of subscription, but this is sometimes not entirely true. Many have some kind of annual subscription for support and maintenance and others even require a subscription to be able to use them.
Open or closed scan export: all scanners are now open, which allows to export at least one of the following source files STL, OBJ and/or PLY, however, they did not take this criteria into account for the evaluation.
Autoclave scanning tips: If the tips can be autoclaved and how many cycles can be completed before replacing them.
Touch screen: the intraoral scanners connected to the trolleys are actually screen-touch. This does not apply to those connected to a laptop via a USB port as the screen will work as a touch screen, but not all the software was designed with touch interaction in mind and can be better handled with a mouse and keyboard.
Wireless scanner: the assessment is based on whether or not wireless options are available for the scanner.
Caries detection: this criterion is based on whether or not the intraoral scanner has a caries detection function such as transillumination or fluorescence.
CAD Integration: you may wonder if the scanner has integrated CAD/CAM design functions. If not, you will have to export the files and the prostheses will have to be designed in third-party software such as Exocad.