Dental moulds to soon be passé as 3-D scanners take over your dentist’s chamber

By  , Agency News
Sep 04, 2013

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  • Traditionally dentists have been using dental moulds to see the insides of a patient's mouth.
  • A new 3-D scanner now can get images of the inside of the mouth.
  • The scanner has an electronic wand to take photo of the teeth.
  • The data is fed into a touch screen which allows dentists to have a clear look.

digital scanner to replace dental mouldsA handheld 3-D oral scanner that has the ability to digitally capture images of the insides of patients’ mouths has now been developed jointly by researchers of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard. This is a welcome change from traditional method where in the dentists make dental impressions. This is done by having the patients bite on a moldable silicone material.

The researchers from MIT and business students from Harvard University had been working to commercialise a very novel handheld scanner. This scanner can digitally capture three dimensional images of the inside of a patient’s mouth. This innovation was developed by Brontes Technologies and promises real time digital impressions.

Professor Douglas Hart from MIT along with his team took a research detour and invented the scanner; it uses a single camera lens and has only a limited rotating aperture.

The scanner has been dubbed as the Lava Chairside Oral Scanner or simply Lava COS and it features a wand that about the same shape and size of an electric toothbrush. The wand is moved around the inside of the patient’s mouth much like a hand piece and the wand takes photos of the teeth and then feeds the data in real time to a touch screen. The dentist can take it up from here and start the treatment.

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