Partial Denture Scanning Best Practices

Below, we've outlined partial denture scanning best practice techniques that will increase the likelihood of success for your case:

Room Setup

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

Scanner Placement

Teeth that will be clasped and/or serving as abutments for the partial need to be completely and accurately captured by the scanner for an accurately fitting partial.

  • 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. 

Moisture Control 

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.
  • Saliva is the leading cause of voids and distortions. 

Cheek and Lip Retraction 

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

Gum Tissue Scanning 

  • Hold the scanner close to the soft tissue when you are scanning, not at the height of any existing teeth, as the scanner is distance-sensitive.
  • Tilt the scanner on both sides of the patient's arch.
  • Move the scanner significantly slower over any edentulous area or soft tissue.

Case Submission Checklist

Before scan submission and dismissing the patient, check the following: 

  • 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? 

Good Scan Examples

  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.                                                                         

Bad Scan Examples

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