By Danny Chan
The success of an implant restoration depends greatly on the replication of the precise position of the implant body. The importance of determining the latter’s positional depth, rotation and angulation in relation to other oral structures cannot be overstated.
Increasingly, dentists are adopting digital impressions using the scan flag technique to faithfully capture the relationship of the implant connection to adjacent structures, at the same time, accurately depict the hard and soft tissue relationship. Thanks to the Scan Flag Technique, these tasks may be routinely performed with greater accuracy, ease and convenience.
The Scan Flag Technique involves the use of Intraoral Scan Bodies, which are precision components used for determining the position and orientation of dental implants. Scan bodies are screwed onto an implant fixture and scanned directly from the patient’s mouth using an intraoral scanner (IOS). Based on these digital scans, the laboratory is able to accurately manufacture implant-based restorations using CAD/CAM technology. The scan body design and the material properties guarantee a maximum scan area for an accurate fit of implant components.
This technique dispenses with the need for a conventional fixture-level implant impression. It affords dentists and lab technicians the ability to see the preparation/s immediately and make modifications on the fly. By allowing for accurate fabrication of implant restoration, digital scans eliminate potential inaccuracies arising from use of conventional impression materials. Goop-free digital impressions enhance both operator and patient comfort.
Notwithstanding the long list of benefits, some dentists may be apprehensive about joining the digital bandwagon simply because the technology either sounds too nascent or too advanced. It doesn’t help that there is a bit of confusion surrounding this new-esque technique that even early adopters sometimes find confusing.
Indeed, there is a need to address some of the common queries that dental laboratories are frequently being asked on the subject of Digital Implant Impressions: What are the available Scan Body options and which one should I use? Will my dental lab support the Scan Body that I’m using? Can I use a generic brand or must I stick to a branded implant company?
Precisely to clear the smog and help dentists navigate the minefield of options, Andent has come up with the Andent Scan Body Starter Kit (A$390). The kit is conceptualised to work with the majority of major commercial implant systems – or in the words of Matt Smith, General Manager, Andent, “covers a fair chunk of the Australian market”.
According to Andent, there are currently several Scan Body options* available for Intraoral Scanner (IOS) users to send cases to laboratories:
- Genuine branded implant companies provide their own scan flags i.e.- Straumann, MIS, Southern Implants, implant direct.
- Non-genuine implant companies provide generic scan flags i.e.- Dess, Medentika, Elos, Core3D
- IOS brands provide their own scan flags i.e.- DentsplySirona (Cerec scan flags), 3Shape
* A comprehensive table showing available implants systems and their corresponding Scan Body types is available on Andent’s “Find Your Perfect Fit” brochure.
“The confusion starts when dentists are unsure about what brands or types of Scan Flags to buy and whether they will be compatible with the implant system that they’re using. When the case is sent to the lab, the type of scan flags that they’re using may not be supported by the lab, not least due to lack of associated componentry,” Matt explains.
Andent’s Scan Body Starter Kit is designed take the guesswork out of a potentially cumbersome process. Having researched the Australian market for all the available brands, permuting each product into respective type and code, the company is now able to match the exact Scan Body type to the client’s implant system at the touch of button.
Streamlining this process also makes the Scan Body buying experience totally fuss-free. It is as easy as quoting the implant system that you are using – you can do this online or over the phone – then sit back while the Andent personnel runs a check on the system to find matching Scan Flags for you. It’s that simple.
In addition to the CAD design of the model, Andent is also making available implant models with analogues and soft tissue – with scan flags in position. This way, you are never in doubt how the final restoration would look like. “Another big benefit of IOS is that we can design the crown at the same time of the model. This greatly reduces time due to eliminating the need for stone models and scanning,” he adds.
Besides offering predictable results and faster turnaround in a one-stop shop, here are more reasons to consider Andent Scan Flags:
- Made from medical grade Polyether Ether Ketone (PEEK) part ensuring optimal scan result;
- Reusable up to 15 times;
- Autoclavable and radio opaque;
- Does not require powdering of the scan body prior to scanning;
- Compatible with the prosthetic screwdriver relevant to the implant system being used;
- Can be hand-tightened (does not require the use of a torque wrench);
- Suitable for Non-Genuine and Genuine restorative options;
- Available individually or as part of a starter kit.
- Cases contribute to a Digital rebate*
* Must be signed up to the Digital Rebate, visit andent.com/rebate for more information.
Andent scan bodies are available separately ($60) or in a kit ($390 including 6x Scan Flags + Container). There is also a handy, autoclavable container ($90) available for storage.
For more information contact Andent on 03 9650 6766 or visit https://www.andent.com/products/intraoral-scan-body