How to Make Models from Dental 3D Intraoral Scans

Hryhorii Sirenok
Project Manager at TRIARE
10 min read
How to Make Models from Dental 3D Intraoral Scans

Create precise 3D dental models with no effort. Why deal with making physical impressions when you can use 3D intraoral scans?

Aligners, dentures, and implants are inseparable parts of dentistry as they offer effective ways to replace missing teeth or support broken ones. Not so long ago, using physical impressions was the primary method for doctors to make a model of the missing teeth, which often was time-consuming, uncomfortable, and somewhat inaccurate. 

As the demand grows for such tools, many clinics and dental offices turn to professional developers such as TRIARE, a company with a proven track record in developing custom solutions for dental clinics.  

Still, dental clinics are on the fence about adopting such tools as they do not know how they work and what benefits they offer. This article provides the answers. 

TRIARE’s experience in 3D dental development software 

Building on years of experience with clients in the medical sector, TRIARE is no stranger to developing dental modeling solutions. For example, our Smile App project is an example of an impactful custom solution for the dental industry.  

With Smile App, TRIARE developed a mobile application for instant dental implants visualization and customization. It allows dental clinics to show how a patient’s new smile will look in a couple of clicks on a tablet. As a result, clinics gain a tool to acquire customers by demonstrating them their new smile.

Dental Structure

Intraoral scans vs. physical impressions

Dentists have traditionally used alginate materials to create replicas of fractured or missing teeth. The procedure can be tedious, time-consuming, and agony for most patients since they need to press tightly on the material to obtain accurate impressions. If the impressions are not right, the process has to be repeated.

However, you can digitally scan the patient’s teeth with an intraoral scanner. The scanner spotlights the area, while sensors take photos to produce a 3D digital model. Since they are faster, intraoral scanners save time and money when capturing impressions as they reduce chair time. Following are the reasons why intraoral scans are superior to physical impressions:

  • Improved Accuracy: intraoral scans provide highly accurate digital images of the teeth and surrounding tissues, resulting in a more precise fit of the final restoration. Unlike traditional impressions, which can be distorted during the pouring process, digital scans are not subject to human error.
  • Time Savings: intraoral scans can be completed more quickly than traditional impressions, saving patients and dentists time. There is no need to wait for the material to set, and the process of capturing the images is more efficient.
  • Increased Patient Comfort: many patients find the traditional impression process uncomfortable or unpleasant due to the materials used and the amount of time required to complete the impression. Intraoral scans are more comfortable, as they involve no physical contact with the patient’s mouth.
  • Improved Communication: intraoral scans allow dentists to share detailed 3D images with dental laboratories, reducing the need for physical models to be shipped between locations. This can improve communication, reduce errors, and speed up the fabrication process.
  • Reduced Waste: traditional impressions require the use of materials such as silicone and polyether, which can generate waste and contribute to environmental concerns. In contrast, digital scans are more environmentally friendly, as they do not require these materials.

Furthermore, the entire procedure is considerably simpler, faster, and more pleasant for the patients. The dentist may save time by not sending the physical imprint to a lab. Instead, they can store the files on a computer. That is why in recent years more than 53% of dentists have started using intraoral scanners.

Dental Implants Software

Dental implants and prosthodontics software

Accuracy is a vital component of any implant placement as the doctor cannot initiate the procedure without understanding the jaw area with precise teeth positions, bone density, tissues, and sinus cavities. Here, a prosthodontics solution can gather the data and capture a clear picture of the patient’s jaw by scanning the area.

This means that implants are inserted precisely in the preset location. This improves the procedure’s safety, predictability, speed, and comfort while also lowering the necessity for bone transplants. It also helps put implants in places impossible before, making them effective for patients with significant bone loss. In fact, some studies suggested that using an intraoral scanner can make a significant difference in the accuracy of the operation.

After gathering all required data, the dental 3D scanning software creates an accurate 3D model of the jaw, allowing the doctors to identify the ideal position for implant insertion.

The use of prosthodontics software can improve the quality of patient care by reducing the risk of error in the design and fabrication process and enabling prosthodontists to achieve more predictable and aesthetic outcomes. It can also streamline workflows, reduce treatment times, and enhance communication between prosthodontists and other members of the dental team.

Creating Dental Models

The digital workflow for creating dental models

Dental experts can quickly capture a digital image of the patient’s jaw using a high-tech intraoral scanner. These tools can complete this work more quickly and precisely. Dentists can create a flawless digital 3D imprint in under a minute. The 3D printing digital workflow usually consists of four steps, which are:

  1. Intraoral Scanning. The process begins with the capture of digital impressions of the patient’s teeth and surrounding tissues using an intraoral scanner.
  2. Digital Model Creation. The digital impressions are then used to create a 3D digital model of the patient’s teeth and gums. The model can be manipulated on a computer screen to view the teeth from different angles and identify any areas of concern.
  3. Virtual Treatment Planning. With the digital model, the dentist can virtually plan the treatment, selecting the type of restoration, tooth position, and shape, and simulate the final result.
  4. Computer-Aided Design (CAD). Next, using specialized software, the dentist designs the final prosthesis, such as a crown or bridge, by digitally sculpting it on the 3D model.
  5. Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM). The CAD design is sent to a milling machine or 3D printer that creates the final restoration using the chosen material.
  6. Finishing and Polishing. The restoration is then finished and polished to ensure it looks and feels natural.

By using digital workflows for creating dental models, dentists can streamline the treatment process, reduce the need for multiple appointments, and achieve highly accurate and precise results. Additionally, digital workflows can enhance communication and collaboration between dentists, technicians, and patients, resulting in better outcomes and a more positive treatment experience.

Dental 3D scaner  Saas solutions

Saas solutions & their disadvantages

With the software as a service (SaaS) paradigm, a third-party provider creates programs on the public cloud and makes them accessible to clients online. This indicates that programs may be used from any device equipped with an internet connection. Despite some benefits, many drawbacks make Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions less desirable than customized, dental modeling solutions. Some of the disadvantages are:

Disadvantage Description
Cost As introducing new users/dentists adds to the software price, the cost easily builds up in the future, making the solution highly expensive given the features it offers.
Data security By offering access to different databases, a SaaS solution makes it easy for hackers to attack and attain sensitive data. Also, as 56% of SaaS solutions are not managed, companies face huge risks in terms of compliance and security.
Scalability Any upgrade will inevitably drive the costs higher, making it prohibitively expensive for the clinic to scale.
Customizability Despite offering different tier levels, a SaaS is a one-size-fits-all solution, meaning that you’ll pay for unnecessary features. 
Data Access Any server breakdown will prevent the clinic from accessing patient data, making it highly disruptive for the doctors and the patients.
How does the dental scanning process work in your dental clinic?

Why choose custom dental 3D software solutions?

Despite offering different tier levels, most ready-made solutions are one-size-fits-all, which means that you’ll pay for unnecessary features. On top of that, there’s no room for scalability as a premade system cannot adapt to your changing needs.

You can offer your clients a more appealing care plan by using specialized 3D dentistry software. They are able to see the final product and have the chance to voice any issues they may have. Because of this, they can take an active role in the procedure and their personal treatment.

Your capacity to remain current is essential in a world where technology is constantly evolving. This is precisely what custom 3D dental software does: it empowers you to grab brand-new opportunities and challenge the limits of digital dentistry. It is scalable, which helps it scale along with your clinic and modify itself to meet your needs and goals over time. 

Here are three examples of dental 3D software solutions widely used in orthodontics:

  • Deltaface. When using an intraoral scanner, Deltaface lets you import common STL files into the program in no time. Furthermore, it lets STL files be exported to any 3D printer. It is a tool that allows dentists to customize the 3D dental model they desire.
  • Maestro 3D Ortho Studio. This specialized program is made to make it simple for dentists to see, edit, and examine data from every scanning session. This app, which is accessible on Windows and the iOS, only supports information obtained with the Maestro 3D dental scanner.
  • Planmeca Romexis Ortho Studio. It allows orthodontists to analyze and manipulate digital models of patients’ teeth, design treatment plans, simulate treatment outcomes, and communicate with patients using 3D images and animations.

Integrating a custom 3D dental scanner into the clinic’s CRM system

The process of 3D printing is quicker, cleaner, and easier than traditional methods. Also, it is essentially the only method for turning digital prints and IOS images into models. Rather than keeping physical models, clinics and labs can keep them as digital copies. 

They can easily reproduce the model with digital images whenever necessary. A CRM system can serve as the best place to seamlessly store all of these copies. Due to its vast range of benefits, about 91% of businesses with 10 or more employees use CRM solutions.

For better patient care, dentists can also mimic patient teeth using 3D printing and scanning technology. However, these things can only happen if the 3D scanner operates on detailed information about each patient’s teeth types, possible conditions, bone mass, and jaw structure.

A CRM system can serve as the best source for such information, tailoring the dental computer software to each patient’s needs and features. 

Custom Dental 3D Software 

How TRIARE creates custom dental 3D scanning software

The team at TRIARE has experience in developing mobile/web app solutions for businesses in different industries. First, our experts carefully analyze the client’s specific business process to identify any pain points and gaps. Then, we ask them to outline their general goals, as well as their purpose for the dental computer software

Based on such information, our experts focus on creating a solution for the client’s specific challenge while remaining within their budget. We also constantly keep in touch with the client to get feedback and further tailor the solution to their specific user base. 

After a series of rigorous tests, we introduce key features into the software and list some optional features that may be nice to have. After a final round of feedback, we deliver the final product to the client. Our clients understand the importance of developing a high-quality app, and so do their patients. In fact, 71% of patients believe that digitalization can dramatically improve their treatment experience. 

CRM system of the dental clinic

Final Thoughts

There’s no doubt that using automated tools can help accelerate the 3D modeling process while also lowering related costs. Using such tools may look difficult at first, but a brief training can make it simple for users to run the app. Also, using such a scanner in a dental office could offer a better customer experience and increase the client base.

Meanwhile, there are lots of pre-made orthodontic imaging software tools on the market. Despite their benefits, the biggest downside is that they are not tailored to your specific needs and goals, meaning that you’ll likely pay for features that you’ll never use. 

So, it’s much better to build a customized dental modeling solution and as you know, we at TRIARE specialize in this area. You’re just a phone call away from making your unique solution.

What features are needed for your 3D scanner? Let's discuss.
Hryhorii Sirenok
Project Manager at TRIARE