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Intraoral Scanners: What Should I Do?

Moving across from silicone impressions to an intraoral scanner is an exciting leap and comes with plenty of benefits including faster workflows and increased patient comfort.

It is a significant investment and it is worth putting some time into choosing the correct scanner for your. We have put together an introduction to the topic to help you navigate all the different options.

Key influences on choice

Intended use

There is no one size fits all answer. There are a large range of intraoral scanners that serve a spectrum of dental needs. At one end are machines which offer straightforward scanning ability right through to advanced options which have their own integrated CAD software and CAM unit for production of prosthetics.

It is therefore crucial that before choosing a scanner you understand what functionality the practice needs. Broadly scanners will fall into one of these categories with prices increasing with functionality.

  • Scanning only
  • Scanning with integrated CAD software to allow for editing on the device
  • Scanning with integrated CAD & CAM (milling) unit

For Clear Aligner work, you only need scanning functionality.


In addition to the upfront cost, with certain scanners there are ongoing costs for software subscriptions, updates, file storage and maintenance. It's also worth considering the cost and feasibility of repairs based on your location.


While there are a lot of differences between scanners, there are some core similarities:

  • Extremely similar precision with little clinical difference
  • Open systems - which allow the STL’s (digital impression source files) to be exported from the scanner and shared easily to anybody


When comparing different intraoral scanners, most practical differences are covered by these 8 factors.

  • Scanning speed
  • Ease of use
  • Flow - whether it loses its place often during scanning or changing quadrants and how well it calculates the bite
  • Scanner size and weight
  • Cavity detection
  • Integrated CAD
  • Wireless vs USB compatible
  • Cost

A useful comparison of these features for the leading options available on the market is shown below

Overview of intraoral scanner features from the Institute of Digital Dentistry. Higher numbers signify a better score.

What our dentists say

All scanners have open systems which allow you to share your 3D scans with 32Co, so we work with scans from a range of different machines on a daily basis. Our dentists have experience with a range of scanners and here is what some of them have to say:

Dr Cheah
'Primescan is my favourite, its the fastest by far and I much prefer it to the Itero and TRIOS'

Dr Lee
'Medit is the best all rounder in terms of price and the fact it is open source, I find it very easy to use'

We are not affiliated with any specific model or brand and ultimately the best scanner for you will depend on your budget and what functionality you need from it.

A good place to start

The institute of digital dentistry have compiled an in-depth and impartial guide that compares the best intraoral scanners currently available. With a deep dive into each scanner and useful summary tables comparing features and cost it's a great place to start research. You can access the report below.

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Contact us

To book a demo or to learn more about 32Co, please email the team