A number of intraoral scanners are currently on the market and new products are constantly being introduced. Some scanners require a powder spray to be applied to the teeth in order to scan, others are powder free. Powder free scanners are offered in both monochromatic or color options. Most scanners are tethered to a workstation via a USB or other cable, however some recent wireless models have been introduced. In addition to the scanner itself, there will typically be a computer or other base station that runs the software and renders the 3D images generated by the scanner.
As with any technology, the cost may vary significantly with the features of the scanners. Some systems are open, generating an industry standard STL file, while others are more closed, requiring you to work in their eco system, or incur additional fees to export.
Most of the scanner manufacturers provide a portal or other means to communicate with the dental laboratory. The software in the office will upload to the portal and alert the selected laboratory that a new impression is available. There are also options to use independent services such as DDX (Digital Design Exchange) www.ddxdental.com to submit digital STL files and RXs. Some Laboratories, such as Bayshore, also offer our own portal, in which digital case files can be submitted.
A number of options exist to help you create your digital workflow.