Achieving Optimal Interproximal Scans for Crowns and Bridges

Optimizing interproximal scans is crucial for achieving drop-in, no adjustment crown and bridge restorations. This guide outlines identifying and correcting scan errors, ensuring your restorations align seamlessly with the patient’s existing anatomy.

Identifying and Correcting Common Scan Errors

When scanning the prepped tooth and surrounding area, you want to keep an eye on the adjacent contacts and how they are shaped in relation to your restoration.

Good scans require the adjoining tooth surfaces to be smooth and dry so that our designers can design that perfect ‘drop-in’ crown. Below are common scanning issues we see and how to fix them:

  • Moisture on Adjacent Teeth
    • Identifying the Problem: Jagged edges on adjacent teeth indicate the presence of blood, saliva, or moisture.
    • The Solution: Dry the area thoroughly using cotton rolls, suction, and wipes before rescanning.
  • Missing Scan Data
    • Identifying the Problem: Gaps or inaccuracies in scan data due to inadequate coverage.
    • The Solution: Scan slowly and methodically, covering multiple angles to ensure complete data capture. The video below outlines a technique to capture data better. 

Tools and Techniques to Improve Interproximal Scans

  • Stone View in Chairside: Use this feature for a detailed grayscale view, ensuring interproximal contacts are well captured.

  • CAD/CAM Spray: Helpful in cases where the scanner struggles to capture gold crown data.
  • Hemostatic Agents: Apply in bleeding areas to control fluid before scanning.
  • Scanner Positioning: Ensure the mirror tip is close to subgingival surfaces for accurate capture.
  • Mandible Adjustment: Instruct the patient to shift their mandible for better access to posterior areas.
  • HD Scans Feature: Utilize for a detailed review of the digital impression, including margin tracing and preparation analysis.

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Examples of Good Quality Interproximal Scans 

The surfaces and adjoining teeth surfaces are smooth & dry.

Examples of Poor-Quality Interproximal Scans 

Poor-quality interproximal scans often feature jagged or rough adjacent surfaces. The rougher the adjacent surface in the scan, the more difficult it is to design a crown that precisely matches it. The examples below highlight what these jagged adjacent surfaces look like. 

Conclusion

Proper interproximal scans are critical for achieving drop-in, no adjustment crown and bridge restorations. By following these guidelines, you can enhance the quality of your scans and reduce the need for chairside adjustments.

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