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.
  • Close the blinds to any nearby windows.

Scanner Placement

Teeth that will be clasped and/or serve 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 while keeping the camera moving.
  • When scanning the posterior teeth, it's important to reduce your speed. Moving the scanner too fast can result in gaps and may cause the camera to lose its position during data collection.
  • If the camera loses track during data collection, return to the most recent area where data was successfully gathered. This step assists the camera in reorienting itself toward the appliance for continued data capture.

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 keep 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 submitting the scan and allowing the patient to leave, ensure to verify the following aspects:

  • Have all surfaces of the posterior teeth been thoroughly scanned?
  • Have the retromolar pads on both sides been included in the scan?
  • Are there any abnormalities, like distortions, holes, or layering issues?
  • Has the entire palate been successfully captured in the scan?

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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