I was on the lookout for value-priced intraoral scanners at Yankee Dental, but came up short. The most attractively priced — that I saw, where was Medit? — is the Aadva(tm) IOS from GC America. This scanner had the fewest restrictions as far as ongoing fees and data ownership. The resulting mesh is probably OK from a point density standpoint, but did not look great on the big display at the booth. The scanner is best applied to scanning quadrants for single-tooth restoration. The software is rudimentary, although updates are on the way. The blue light wand is one of the smaller ones I have seen. No tip to replace.
The Carestream C3600 (w/o color) was the next afforable option. Carestream also takes the attitude that the customer owns the data. No concerns about scan quality here.
3M was present at Yankee Dental, but I didn’t see the True Definition on display.
iTero, 3Shape TRIOS, Planmeca, CEREC. These are the big four and command the highest price. They all have monthly fees, some more (iTero) and some less (Planmeca). You get what you pay for and according to your philosophy. Want total control? Planmeca. Want to have Align Tech clean up your scanning work? iTero. Want the best looking scanner? 3Shape TRIOS. Want the absolute best in German engineering? CEREC.
All systems have some type of connectivity, where the scans can be sent to participating dental labs. 3Shape and Planmeca have ways of sending that do not require a fee from the dental lab.
While a traditional impression might cost up to $60 (materials and shipment to the lab), I am told the real return-on-investment is seen in patient comfort and reduced chair-time. The anecdotes are also piling up regarding final fit of the devices designed from digital impression. (The anecdotes are that the fits are great.)