Intraoral scanners offer significant advantages over traditional PVS/alginate impressions in that there are no contaminated materials to be poured, packaged and shipped. Compared to a physical impression, digital scans are sent to your dental lab through contactless electronic delivery.
According to CDC classifications, most intraoral scanners are composed of non-critical and semi-critical surfaces.
The scanning unit (wand), cradle, touch screen, and base are Non-critical.
Disposable sleeves or tips which cover the sensor, including any mirrors, are considered Semi-critical instruments.
To disinfect all parts of the intraoral scanner except for the sensor and tip, use a disinfectant that has been approved by the EPA and registered for use against Covid-19. Note that not all disinfectants are suitable for use as a cleaning agent. Non-critical surfaces should be cleaned before disinfectant is applied. https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2 Disinfect your intraoral scanner with a soft gauze pad soaked in an approved disinfectant or a pre-moistened, disinfectant wipe. Always consult your owners manual for specific instructions on cleaning and sterilization.
The semi-critical surface on most intraoral scanners is the replaceable scanner tip which covers the sensor and comes into direct contact with the patient’s oral tissues.
These disposable sleeves or tips should be removed after each patient. Many can be reused after cleaning and sterilization. Each manufacturer provides specific instructions for tip cleaning which can be found in the instruction manual. Generally, reusable tips should be inspected for scratches and other imperfections. Damaged tips should be discarded. All parts of the tips can then be cleaned in soapy water with a soft toothbrush and thoroughly dried with a lint free paper towel. After cleaning, the tips can be disinfected through the use of an autoclave, or alternatively a high-level disinfectant that meets EPA criteria for Covid-19 disinfection. After disinfection, ensure that mirrors or glass parts are free of streaks or other marks. A Cotton swab can be used to remove marks from the mirror. Some tips have mirrors that can be removed and replaced.