Night Guard and TMD / TMJ Splint Scanning Best Practices

Below, we've outlined scanning best practice techniques that will increase the likelihood of success for your night guard, sports guard, TMD splint, or bleaching tray case: 

Room Set Up

  • Turn off any overhead dental lighting and loupe lights while scanning.

Scanner Prep

Moisture control 

Saliva is the leading cause of voids and distortions, so it's essential that you keep the area dry before and during scanning.

  • Try using active suction or compressed air - one person can scan while another can work to keep the area dry.

Cheek and lip retraction 

  • Use tools around the office to your advantage. Cheek retractors help keep the cheek away from the hard-to-get vestibule areas. 

Scanner Positioning

Always turn on your scanner over the occlusal surface of a molar/premolar when beginning a scan.

  • Tilt the scanner on both sides of the patient's arch.
  • Do not just hover directly over the occlusal surface - try different angles. • Slow down when scanning the posterior teeth - scanning too quickly leads to voids. 

Case Submission and Dismissal Checklist 

  • Are all surfaces of the posterior teeth captured? 
  • Are both of the retromolar pads captured? 
  • Are there any distortions, holes, or layering? 
  • Is the entire palate captured? 

Examples of Good Scans

  1. Captures vestibule areas - lingual and buccal.                                                       
  2. Captures at least 5 mm of the lingual and buccal gum tissue.                           
  3. Captures the full palate.                                                                                   
  4. Captures both retromolar pads.                                                                         

Examples of Bad Scans 

  1. Contain voids.                                                                                                     
  2. Contain layering.                                                                                               
  3. Contain holes.                                                                                                             
  4. Contain distortions.                                                                                                     
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